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THE Ki-;W YOj-. i' 



R 1^ ^ 

R Cult, Sons, and Tatlok, 




The present work is not intended as a history of Fort Phillip, 
much less of Victoria ; being only the narrative of attempted 
Settlements, and, ultimately, of the permanent occupation of 
the territory. 

A collection in one volume of information widely scattered, 

appearing at various periods, was thought to be useful. The 

presentation of some interesting sketches of Fort Phillip, taken 

by Mr. Surveyor Wedge in 1835, would be now acceptable. 

The opportunity was thus aflforded of adding fresh contributions 

to early colonial history, since the writer's issue of Discovery and 

Settlement of Port Phillip ; William BiLckler/, the Wild White 

If Man; and John Batman, the Founder of Victoria. 

ri Encouraged by a few colonial friends in England, whose 

nanies appear in a list of subscribers, the work has been pro- 

^ duced by the author, who now confidently relies upon the aid 

of his fellow colonists in Australia for its circulation. From 

1845, when his Geography for Australian Youih was published, 

he has earnestly desired, amidst many difficulties, to extend a 

JT knowledge of Australia. His last book, The First Twen^ty Years 

of Australia, has akeady received a kind welcome from the 

English and Colonial Press. 

Among those who have laboured to make known the early 
times of the colony some honoured names may be mentioned ; 

iv Preface. 

as Ardeu, Westgarth, Lang, McCombie, Riisden, Giimer, Labil- 
liere, and Shillinglaw. The London State Record Office, and 
the British Museum Library, have still stores of wealth await- 
ing research. Faithful copies of such interesting documents 
should be in the public libraries of colonial capitals. 

The preservation of those details which appear in the follow- 
ing pages, while important to the student of history, and par- 
ticularly so to the Australian youth, is not less useful to the 
student of human nature, and helpful to social science. The 
record may hereafter point a moral as well as adorn a tale. 

The story of the rise and progress of a British colony is 
valuable for showing the genius of our people. The adapta- 
bility of the English mind to new pursuits and scenes cannot 
be less wonderful than the persistent energy, the power of 
endurance, the organizing ability, the reverence for order, and 
the moral force, all so conspicuous in the history of British 
colonization. With all our lament for shortcomings, we are 
bound to acknowledge the blessings flowing from our occupa- 
tion of a new land, or our influence upon an older one. 

The extension of our civilization has been truly unfortunate 
in its results with sparsely scattered and barbarous tribes, 
who have sullenly and sadly retired to the tomb of national 
and individual existence. But their displacement has tended 
to the development of long hidden resources, and the advance- 
ment of higher conceptions of moral duty ; while pleasures 
are enjoyed, more elevated than those which solaced the 
tenants of caves and breakwinds. 

The retirement of the lower race was inevitable upon the 
approach of the European with his terrible strength. John 
Batman's Treaty with the Port Phillip Natives would, however 
nobly inspired, have been a more speedy failure than even the 
one made by William Penn with the Indians. Still, the fate of 
the Jaga Jagas of the Eucalypti forests, if bringing no blush 
upon the white face of their supplanters, must force a sigh 

Preface. v 

from the breast of the tender and brave. The tale told by the 
author in his Lad of the Tasmanians might be almost repeated 
about the dark men of Port Phillip. 

The chief actors in the scenes here to be described are gone, 
though it was the good fortune of the author, during forty years' 
acquaintance with Australia, to know several of them in their 
old age. To write cotemporary history is neither easy nor 
pleasant. The most ardent love of truth cannot fail to be 
coloured by the hues of party, and the most faithful of histor- 
ians may be chided for susceptibilities. As Nature soon robes 
the harsh fissures of earthquakes with her gracious green, so 
may the asperities of the past be softened with kindly speech, 
yet without spreading over facts the pall of silence. 

All those associated with Victoria, or who have laboured in 
any way for the advancement of its interests, must feel proud 
of the colony in its material and educational progression. It is 
a distinguished privilege to help in laying the foundations of 
society upon those principles of intelligence, temperance, and 
piety, which form the basis of a good commonwealth. All the 
various Settlements throughout Australia are now far better 
fitted for the comfortable homes of Englishmen than at any 
former period. The Britain of the South is healthier, freer, and 
happier than the Britain of Europe. 

London, November \sf^ 1882. 



I. Discovery 4 

Mr. Grimes Bound the Bat, 1803 7 

II. Settlement of 1803 18 

The Settlement of 1826 80 

III. Hume and Hovell*s Overland Journey 80 

IV. The Western Port Settlement 95 

V. Captain Sturt on the Murrat 110 

VI. Portland Bay Settlement in 1834 120 

VII. Major Mitchell's Discoveries in Avutralia Felix . 136 

VIII. Life of John Batman 143 

IX. Batman's Journal and Report 173 

X. The Wild White Man 220 

XI. The Surveyor's Note-Book and Report 247 

XII. Life of Mr. Fawkner before 1835 280 

XIII. Fawkner on the Yarra Yarra 294 

XIV. Official CJorrespondbnce 331 

XV. The Port Phillip Association 355 

XVI. Official Recognition of Trespassers 415 

XVII. First Government of Port Phillip 424 

XVIII. Mr. Gellibrand Lost in the Bush 429 

XIX. The Governor's Visit to the Yarra 438 

XX. Melbourne and its Land Sale 443 

XXI. The Stock Question 456 

XXII. Mr. Mackillop's Narrative 462 

XXIII. Progress of the Settlement 467 

XXIV. The Early Melbourne Press 473 

XXV. Discovery of Gipps Land 487 

XXVI. The Black Question 504 

XXVII. Narratives of Old Hands 512 

XXVIII. Causes of Emigration in 1835 519 

XXIX. An Overland Journey 529 



Melbourne from the Falls Frontispiece 

Port Phillip Bat . 

Mount Yillarmanata 

Entrance to Port Phillip"! ^^ 

WoRRiGONG Biter . . / 

Port Phillip . . 

Barrabull Hills . 

Portrait of Hamilton Hums 80 

Hume's Letter to Author 94 

Wilson's Promontory 
Cove of Glennie's Isle 


;} »• 

I 136 

} 105 

Hills by Flat-topped Hill '\ -^ 

Entrance to Portland Bat / 

Hentt's House, Portland Bat .1 -130 

Whaling Establishment, Portland / 

Hentt's Whaling Establishment 

Po«T Fairy • . 

Headland S. of Fishery "I -^ 

Fishery at Portland Bay/ 

Port Phillip Bay and Ballarine Hills 1 y,^ 

Majonait Watercourse J 

Batman's Huts, August, 1835 189 

Batman's Map of Port Phillip 197 

Batman's Letter 208 

Buckley, the Wild White Man 220 

Buckley in August, 1835 . 1 ooo 

Buckley on Indented Head / 

Wedge's Hut on the Weiribie 1 247 

Fishing in Cove, Glennie's Isle / 

Crossing the Peel Bivbr . . 1 261 

,, Peel or Weiribie / 

Plains and Hills bearing N. 
TowwHAM Hills 



X List of Illustrations. 


Wedge's Letter to Author 277 

Fawkner*8 Portrait and Signature 280 

Batman's Letter aboxtt Fawkner 331 

Near Port Phillip Bat. . . . i 031 


Encampment at River Berrern 

Site of St. Jameses Cathedral 355 

Banga Willock Falls . . 1 ooq 

3ULL / 



Plains and Hills bearing East ) 
Near Geelong 

Native Women Root Getting .1 .,g 

. - 429 

BucKLET Falls 

Melbourne in 1838 443 

PortFairt 1 4gg 

Headland of Port Fairt ) 

Copt of Old Newspaper 475 

FaesimiU of MS. Newspaper. 480 

Portrait of Angus McMillan 487 

• • 1 

Native Woman Sitting j 

Hills to the West / 
Port Phillip Bat 

Norung Boruck . . ■ -^. 

sitting j 

Weiribie Bank .1 -^ ,. 


B^LLARiNB Hills 

Melbourne from Top of Collins Street 535 

Autographs of Men of the Period 540 


The success of the penal settlement at Port Jackson had 
encouraged the English Qovemment to attempt another location 
of the same nature, but in a position where it could have the 
neighbourly aid of the older colony. 

It was not a mere question of prison discipline with a man 
of the enlarged views of William Pitt. The removal of a 
crowd of idle criminals was one advantage, but not the only 
one. The fearful conflict in which Britain was engaged with 
France had seriously embarrassed trade with European states. 
The prospective closing of continental ports against our commerce, 
in the event of Napoleon Bonaparte's continued success, inclined 
Government the more toward the establishment of colonies, 
as nurseries for mercantile intercourse. Having at that time 
the absolute command of the seas, colonization could be 
conducted with more facility than by any other nation. 

Emigration was in suspense. Our American colonies had 
become our national foes, and no accession to their strength was 
likely to receive state encouragement. Canada was then rather 
objectionable to Englishmen, being but a French settlement 
held by British soldiery. The slave islands of the West Indies 
needed simply a few capitalists. India was a scene of constant 
alarm from war, and could no more court the roving husband-" 
man than could the throbbing slope of an active volcano. 


2 Port Phillip Settlement, 

But, in spite of our numerous campaigns, population had so 
increased that a swarming forth must soon arise. For what 
place, and under what circumstances, could emigrants depart ? 

New Holland, now called Australia, was only very partially 
ours by right of discovery. Captain Cook revealed the whole 
eastern side ; but the northern, western, and southern shores 
of that continent were first visited by the Dutch, though the 
French explored a part. The sea border of South Australia 
and Victoria was almost entirely made known by English 
navigators. Cook had taken formal possession of New South 
Wales, as between Cape Howe and Cape York, and various 
settlements had been made within this territory. But, for 
climatic as well as political reasons, the southern shore now 
engaged the attention of our prescient rulers. At Port Phillip 
there seemed a most favourable opportunity. To seize upon 
that domain, without reference to its inhabitants, gave the 
authorities no concern; but on what lines should the colony 
be laid ? 

In olden times it was sufficient for the king to make a grant 
of an area equal to the size of a kingdom, and the favoured 
individual consulted his own interest in the conveyance of 
persons thither, at his own expense, to give a commercial value 
to the land so granted. But the experience of America showed 
that such settlements soon grew beyond the control of this 
British Qovernment, and yet condemned the state to no in- 
considerable outlay. To open a territory free to all comers 
would be to court disorder as well as expenditure. It was essential 
that discipline should be established, that the crown should 
maintain its rights, but that settlers should feel safe and hopeful 
in the venture thither. 

A penal settlement at Port Phillip appeared to meet the 
difficulty. Criminals were bound to be anywhere an obligation 
upon Government. Why should they not be utilised in this 
undertaking ? The gaol colony of New South Wales was an 
acknowledged fact. The English soil was purified, and vaga- 
bonds, by transportation, were changed to honest, thriving 
citizens. An expansion of the original idea, though only 
following out the earnest suggestions of Governor Phillip, gave 
a fairer promise for Port Phillip. It was to be a penal colony ; 
but free settlers were to be sent out at the same time, as an 

Port Phillip Settlement. 3 

incentive to the industry of others, and for the relief of com- 
missariat expenses in the employment of prison labour. Free 
people would be drawn there by Government outlay and the 
protection of British law. 

And yet, though an improvement upon the Botany Bay 
arrangements, there was a singular oversight in the scheme. 
The new expedition had a more serious disproportion of sexes 
than that in 1787. With no female prisoners, only seventeen 
wives of 307 convicts were allowed to sail, and with but five of 
the partners of marines. Social disorder must have followed so 
unnatural a condition. Had, then, the proposed colony been 
established, the early days of Victoria would have been as 
unhappy as immoral, and the sad effects would have long 
remained to the dishonour of that country. 

But it was not so to be. The attempted settlement was not 
to succeed. The convict stain of primal existence was not to 
mar the development of Port Phillip. 

B 2 



The first discovery of Port Phillip need not occupy much 
space in the present work. It has been noticed in the author's 
I)revious publication, Discovery and Settlement of Port PhUlip, 
and has been well described both by Mr. Westgarth and Mr. 
Labilliere, as well as briefly chronicled by Mr. Gurney. The 
story told by Mr. Shillinglaw has cleared up some previously 
existing difficulties, especially in his recovery at Sydney, in 
1877, of the notes of the exploration by Mr. Grimes in 1803. 
A rapid glance at the early voyages may be now sufficient. 

Captain Cook, on April 19th, 1770, discovered the first 
portion of the Victorian territory. Point Hicks lay a little 
westward of Cape Howe. It may not be generally known that 
our discoverer's wife survived him fifty-five years, having died 
at Clapham in 1836, at the age of 94. She lost the last of 
her six children just half a century before. The day of the 
Victorian discovery was Thursday, and the record of the event 
was this : — " The southernmost point of land in sight, which 
bore from us W. \ S., I judged to lie in latitude 38°, longitude 
211°-7, and gave it the name of Point Hicks, because Mr. 
Hicks, the first lieutenant, was the first who discovered it." 
With respect to Cape Howe, Captain Cook wrote : " I cannot 
determine whether it joins Van Biemen's Land or not." 

It was nearly thirty years before it was so determined. Captain 
Hunter made a shrewd guess in 1793, from observation of 
currents, saying : " There is reason thence to believe that there 
is in that space either a deep gulf or a strait which may separate 
Van Dieman's Land from New Holland." The strait was dis- 
covered by Mr. Surgeon Bass. He entered it in an open boat 

Discovery. 5 

the last day of the year, 1797. He discovered Western Port 
on January 4th, 1798, and Corner Inlet on February 2nd. By 
landing near Ram's Head, he became the first European to visit 
the southern colony. Lieutenant Flinders and he afterwards 
went in the Norfolk, twenty-five tons, and sailed through the 
straits. Passing Cape Grim on December 9th, 1798, Flinders 
noticed the long swell of the ocean coming up from the south- 
west, and wrote thus in his log : — 

" Mr. Bass and myself hailed it with joy and mutual con- 
gratulation as announcing the completion of our long-wished- 
for discovery of a passage into the Southern Indian Ocean." 

Lieutenant Grant was the first to pass through Bass's 
Strait firom Europe, on his way to Sydney. He sailed in 
H.M.S. Lady Nelson, sixty tons, called by the seamen, from 
its size, "*His Majesty's Tinderbox." On December 3rd, 1800, 
he came opposite the present eastern boundary of Victoria, and 
afterwards named a number of places. Capes Northumberland 
and Bridgewater were called after dukes ; Lawrence Rocks and 
Capes Albany, Otway, and Schanck, after captains. He 
named the expanse of water Oovcfimor Kings Bay, which stretched 
a hundred miles from Cape Otway to South Cape or Wilson's 
Promontory. Cape Nelson was after the name of the vessel, 
and Liptrap from a London friend of the commander. Captain 
Grant tried in vain to land near the Rodondo. 

To Mr. Labilliere, the most recent historian of Victoria, is 
due the merit of hunting out the Log of the Lady Nelson, when 
under Lieutenant Murray ; it was the first ship to enter the Bay 
of Port Phillip. On January 5th, 1802, Mr. Murray was driven 
from the Heads by a storm. He said : — 

"I saw that the reef did nearly stretch across the whole 
way, but inside saw a fine sheet of smooth water of great 
extent. From the wind blowing hard on this shore, and fresh, 
I was obliged to haul off under a press of sail to clear the 

But Mr. Bowen, his mate, safely entered in the launch. 
Lieutenant Murray could not get in till February 15th. " I 
have named this harbour," wrote he, " Port Kvng, in honour of 
the Governor P. G. King." Arthur's Seat was named from its 
resemblance to the hill at Edinburgh. The beauty of the 
country reminded him of Greenwich Park. He took possession, 

6 Port Phillip Settlement. 

March 9th, " in the name of His Sacred Majesty George the 
Third of Great Britain and Ireland," hoisting the flag of the 
old country. The natives were rather too pressing in their 
demands ; being only " intent on getting what our people had, 
even to the last shirt/' The English side of the story is that 
spears were thrown, and shots returned ; the Log remarking : 
" Thus did this treacherous and unprovoked attack meet with 
its just punishment." Perhaps Buckley heard the aboriginal 
account of the first conflict of the two races in Port Phillip. 

M. Baudin, of the French discovery ships Oiographe and 
Naturaliste, was the next visitor in that quarter. He arrived 
March 30th as Murray left March 12th. Ignoring what others 
had done, and what Flinders did in particular. Captain Baudin 
called a part of this southern coast "Napoleon Land," though 
the limit of his discovery was from Cape Northunfberland to 
longitude 140^ E. 

But it will appear that Baudin saw not the opening of Port 
Phillip, though the record of his voyage states that the indent 
outside was named " Talleyrand Bay,*' and implies a discovery 
of Port Phillip in this observation : " We intended to call it 
* Port du Debut,' but having afterwards learnt that it had been 
examined more in detail by the English brig Lady Nelsan, and 
that it had been named ' Port Phillip,' we shall with so much 
more pleasure preserve in that last name that of the founder of a 
colony in which we found such generous and powerful assistance." 
Would that such kindness had been shown by the French to 
an English navigator of so much worth and service as Captain 
Flinders ! 

Flinders, associated with Bass in the Straits Discovery, had 
under him the gentle and distinguished Sir John Franklin as a 
midshipman, on his voyage out to New Holland in 1801-2. 
On April 26th, 1802, he entered Port Phillip. At first he 
mistook it for Western Port. " This, however, was not Western 
Port," said he, " as we found next morning, and I congratulated 
myself on having made a new and useful discovery ; but here, 
again, I was in error. This place, as I afterwards learned at 
Port Jackson, had been discovered ten weeks before by Lieu- 
tenant John Murray, who had succeeded Captain Grant in the 
command of the Ladi/ Nelson. He had given it the name of 
Port Phillip, and to the rocky point on the east side of the 

1th 1 1 


Fort Phimp Bay. 

n faoep.7 M^ vaUuynanata. Jf. 35. W.fStcUioivFeak.J 

Discovery. 7 

entrance that of Poiot Nepean." King named it Port 

It was Flinders who gave names to Indented Head and 
Station Peak. Though approving of the soil for agriculture, 
and the country for sheep, he had his doubts about the region 
after walking for twenty miles without finding water. He 
alludes, however, to the survey of the port by Mr. Grimes, 
saying, " No runs of fresh water were seen in my excursions ; 
but Mr. Charles Grimes, Surveyor-General of New South 
Wales, afterwards found several, and in particular a small 
river (the Yarra) falling into the northern head of the port. 
Mr. Grimes was sent by Governor King, in 1803, to walk round 
and survey the harbour ; and from his plan I have completed 
my chart of Port Phillip." On that chart we see the Yarra 
distinctly marked. 

Mr. Surveyor Grimes Round the Bay, 1803. 

The journal of this exploration round Port Phillip Bay was not 

kept by the surveyor, Mr. Grimes, but by Mr. James Fleming, 

whose special duty was to note the agricultural qualities of the 

country. The journal appeared with two other early records at 

the expense of the Victorian Government in 1879, under the 

editorship of Mr. Shillinglaw, F.R.G.S., whose notes of places 
are appended. 

The Cumherland left Sydney with the party on November 

23rd, 1802, and cruised about the islands of Bass's Strait, in 

search of a place for a new colony, by orders of Governor King. 

The result of such examination of King's Island is thus noted : 

** The best place for a settlement is either in Elephant Bay, or 

opposite New Year's Island; but as we saw little of the 

interior there are perhaps better places. The shore is in every 

place difficult of access for vessels." But we extract from 

the journal only that portion relating to the visit of Port 

Phillip :— 

" Thursday, 2Qth (January, 1803). — In the morning off high 
land ; the hills high and verdant. The trees inward appeared 
large. There appeared an opening like a small river to the 
eastward ; at noon a valley with gentle rising ground, behind 
which the timber appeared large. At eight o'clock anchqred 
in Port Phillip : hot winds most of the day. 


8 Port Phillip Settlement. 

*' Friday, 21sL — Weighed anchor early in the morning, and 
came further into the bay \ dropped anchor.^ The captain, Mr. 
Grimes, doctor, and myself went on shore, and walked across 
a neck of land to the sea, whilst the carpenter repaired the 
boat. The land is a light, black sand pasture, thin of timber, 
consisting of gum, oak, Banksia, and thorn. Saw the scaites 
of some lagoons, all dry except one salt one. The land is about 
a mile and a half over. Came on board in the afternoon. 

^' ScUurday, 22nd, — ^AU hands up at daylight. The captain 
went sounding ; on his return Mr. Grimes, doctor and self^ two 
marines, and two assistants to the surveyor went on shore. As 
we went on met with two huts, apparently built by Europeans ; 
a little further met with fresh water in a swamp ^ about fifty 
yards from the beach ; further on a small run of water. The 
country level ; timber as the preceding day. Saw three natives 
at a distance ; they made off as we approached them. 

"Sunday, 23rd. — Early in the morning the same party as 
yesterday, with the addition of the captain, went on shore. 
We ascended a high hill ; ^ the land good until we got near the 
top, where it is stony. On the north and south sides of the 
hill there are from 2,000 to 3,000 acres of good land, a specimen 
of which is taken. Mr. Robbins and self went to the top of a 
hill ; ^ it appeared fine land at a distance, but only stones and 
short brush as we approached it ; saw Western Port distinctly 
from the top of it ; we supposed it to be about five miles from 
the beach. Returned through an extensive swamp.* On the 
side of the hill met with two dingles with some fresh water 
in deep holes. Mr. Grimes and the others took another way at 
the bottom of the first hill ; we found them on board at our 
return. The country all newly burnt. Caught plenty of fish ; 
a shark took a mariner s jacket out of the boat. 

" Monday, 24^A. — At seven o'clock the same party as on the 
22nd went to continue the survey. At three miles a swamp, 
several runs of water, only one good, and all blocked up at the 
beach. The rest of this day's journey hills, rocky land,* light, 
black sand, fine grass, and the trees low and scrubby. Several 
dingles on the sides of the hills ; found a little water in two 

" Tuesday f 2oth. — ^Having a sore foot stopped on board. Mr. 
Grimes and party went on shore at the usual time, and con- 
tinued the survey till about two o'clock. From what the doctor 
informed me, the land as on the preceding day. Looked over 
seeds and specimens, &c. 

" Wednesday, 2%ih. — The captain. Grimes, doctor and self, 

' Near Point King (Sorrento). ' "Wannaeue (Bones) swamp. 

* Arthur's Seat. * Wannaeue swamp. 

^ Western slopes of Arthur*8 Seat Ranges. 


and three seamen set off for Western Fort; at two miles a 
swamp ^ without trees, and fine grass ; over a swell another of 
the same sort. Found no water till we came near the Port. 
Saw some ducks, which was a sign of water ; made to the place ; 
it was salt, but 1 went a little further up and found it fresh. I 
stopped there with one man, and the captain, Mr. Grimes, and 
another went to the Fort They got into a swamp, and did not 
reach the boat in two hours ; they returned, and after dinner we 
returned back the course we came. Frevious to our reaching 
the water, the doctor was so fatigued for want of water that he 
could not go on ; he was left with a man, gun, and compass, to 
make the best of his way back to the vessel. He sent the man 
off to the vessel for water, with the ffun and compass, and he 
moved from the place where we left him. On our arrival found 
the man, but not the doctor, and it being dark nothing could be 
done till morning. 

" Thursday, 27th. — ^When four men set off to the place where 
he was left they found his fire, but he was gone. After searching 
all the day, they arrived in the evening without him. 

"Friday, 2Sth. — In the morning two parties went different 
ways in search of the doctor ; in an hour after they were gone 
saw the doctor walking on the beach, when a boat was sent to 
bring him on board. Immediately three muskatoons were fired 
to bring the parties back, but they did not hear them, and 
they returned in the afternoon. Thunder, high wind, some 
drops of rain, and excessively hot for two days past. 

" Saturday, 29th. — ^At eight o'clock Mr. Grimes, self and four 
others went on shore to continue the survey from the 25th. 
There is a small river ^ where we began ; a little further some 
fresh water; crossed several dingles, all dry. At about two 
o'clock came to fresh water; it appears to be a considerable 
stream * in wet seasons. I went but a little way in the country 
being alone. The land is a light, black, sandy soil, timber 
smalT and low, and shore rocky, iron-coloured stone,* but sand 
when broken. 

" Sunday, SOth. — The same party as yesterday went on shore 
at eight o'clock. About a mile from the fresh water there is 
a deep gully ; * I crossed it about half a mile from the beach ; 
it appears to run a great way into the country. I ascended a 
hill * where I could see eight or ten miles, hills without trees, 
narrow valleys with scrubby brush. The soil black gravelly 
sand. At a mile and a half from the beach a run of fresh 
water to a lagoon. Came to a river,''^ it was salt ; traced it to 
the beach; crossed it up to the knees about a mile further, 

1 The Big Swamp. " Balcombe's creek. • The Tanti (Schnapper Point). 
< Mount Martha, » Davey'a Gully. • Back of Frankston. 

' Cannanook. 

10 Port Phillip Settlement. 

went in about a quarter of a mile; found a fine fresh-water 
river, about thirty feet wide arid deep enough for a boat. Mr. 
Grimes tried the bearings of it ; traced it six or eight miles ; ^ 
it runs in a parallel line with the sea. Fell in with a body of 
natives, fourteen men, besides women and children; they 
pointed to us to follow the ship. I gave them some biscuit; 
some of the men gave them some old hats and hankerchiefs ; 
they followed us a considerable way, seemingly asking for more. 
There are some huts on the side of the river. The laid * sandy, 
with shell bottom ; wood small. At five o'clock got on board. 

" Monday, Zlst. — It looked like a wet morning ; we did not 
go out early. At ten o'clock the captain, Grimes, self, and two 
mariners went on shore ; crossed a neck of land about half a 
mile over ; went along the beach a little way and ascended a 
hill; the country appearing very barren. £etumed to the 
vessel about one o'clock.* 

" Tuesday, Febriiary \st — The same party as before went on 
shore about seven o'clock to continue the survey from 30th. 
There is a slip of trees from four to six chains from the beach, 
mthin which is poor sandy land with short brush, and no trees 
inwards for several miles. In the afternoon the country more 
woody and land something better. The day very hot, and found 
no water. Saw two large emus. 

" Wednesday, 2nd. — ^At the usual time the same party as 
yesterday, with the addition of the doctor, went on shore ; for 
about a mile the land dry, a light sandy soil ; afterwards a large 
swamp,* with three lagoons in it all dry. The land appears to 
be covered with water in wet seasons. Came to a salt lagoon 
about a mile long and a quarter of a mile wide; had not 
entrance to the sea. Soon afterwards came to a large river ; ^ 
went up it about a mile, when we turned back and waited for 
the boat to take us on board. The ground is a swamp on one 
side and high on the other.® Saw many swans, peUcans, and 
ducks. Were obliged to go up to our middle to get to the 
boat, and got on board between five and six o'clock. Bain and 
thunder in the night. 

" Thursday, 3rd, — At six o'clock the captain, Mr. Grimes, 
self, and five seamen went in the boat up the Great River ; at 
between two and three miles it divided into two ; '^ we took the 
left-hand stream at half-past eight o'clock. The land became 
high, where we landed and went on a hill. The soil a reddish 
loam, from ten to fifteen inches deep. Saw a large lagoon at a 
distance. Went over the hill to a large swamp.® Soil black, 

• About four miles, ' The Long Beach. 

• The liOng Beach and Camim Carnim Swamp. * Carrum Carrum 

• The Yarra Yarra river. * About Footscray. 
' The Saltwater and Yarra rivers. ^ Moonie Ponds. 

Discovery. 11 

eighteen inches, with blue clay at bottom. No trees for many 
nnles. Came to the boat and proceeded on ; passed two 
dingles ; no water ; came to a third where we found some 
water, where we dined, and proceeded on. Opposite this the 
land is stony soil, stiff blue clay, and no trees — only some 
straggling oaks by the side of the river. We went up the river 
till we came to rocks ; ^ could not get the boat over ; crossed it 
at a place the natives had made for catching fish. It was still 
salt, though a great fall ; went about two miles on the hills, 
which are level at top, and full of stones ; the land very bad, 
and very few trees, and appeared so to the mountains, which 
appeared clothed with timber. On our return back to the 
river a little higher up, we found it excellent fresh water, 
where it divided and appeared deep enough for a boat. Just 
as we got to the boat it began to thunder and rain. Stopped a 
a little time, and came back till we could procure wood to make 
a fire, and, it being sunset, stopped the night. 

^^ Friday, 4sth. — Started at six, and came to the branch we 
passed before ; at the entrance the land swampy ; a few miles 
up found it excellent water, where we saw a little hill " and 
landed. The time dinner was getting ready, Messrs. Robbins, 
Grimes, and self went on the hill, where we saw the lagoon * 
seen from the hill where we first landed. It is in a large swamp 
between the two rivers {SaMwater and Yarrd) \ fine grass, fit to 
mow ; not a bush in it. The soil is black rich earth, about six 
to ten inches deep when it is very hard and stiff. It is better 
further back. About two miles further went on shore again ; 
the land much better and timber larger. Soil black, ten to 
fifteen inches deep; bottom, sand or gravel. I went to the 
other side, where the soil was the same ; went in about two 
miles; it began to rain. I returned to the boat, and after 
dinner we all got on board, and arrived on board the vessel at 
dusk. Saw a canoe and two native huts. 

" ScUurdayy 5th. — ^Early in the morning the captain went with 
some casks for water to the place we were at the preceding day ; 
they returned in the evening. Mr. Grimes and the doctor were 
on shore, but returned in about an hour. 

" Sunday 6th — The captain, Mr. Grimes, and self went up 
the river opposite to the place that the survey was left off on 
2nd.* The captain sounded the mouth of the river ; the other 
party alone the shore. I went up a creek ^ about a mile and a 
Of] it w^ salt, and ended in a ^wamp : a run from the plains 
came into it in wet weather ; there is a few trees by the sea 
side ; behind, a level plain to the mountains. Soil six 

^ Solomon's Ford. « Batman's Hill. 

^ Batman's, or West Melbonme, Swamp, * Footscray. 

• Stony Creek. 


12 Port Phillip Settlement/ 

inches deep of stiff, black earth, white clay at bottom, and 
many large stones. The country appears the same for fifteen 
or twenty miles. 

** Monday, 7th. — Early in the morning the party that went 
up the river before with the doctor went up to the little hill ^ 
we had been at on the 4th, where we stopped to breakfast, pro- 
ceeded on to a creek,^ where we dined. Saw some natives. 
The land in general is a fine black soil, ten to eighteen inches 
deep. Timber — ^gum, Banksia, oak, and mimosa of all sorts, 
but not large except the gum. The river appears to rise to 
the height of eight or ten feet at times by wreck on the trees. 
Went alternately into the land on both sides the river ; it con- 
tinued nearly of the same quality. The greatest part of the 
land is above the flood. Proceeded on till sunset ; stopped the 

" Tuesday Sth. — Sowed some seeds by the natives' hut where 
we slept. Continued our course up the river ; the land high ; 
rock by side of river ; it is a freestone, the strata on edge. 
Came to a fall,® where we could not get the boat over. We 
went inland a little way. It is stony ; about six inches black, 
stiff soil, white clay at bottom. Mr. Bobbins got up a tree ; 
saw it to be gently rising hill, clothed with trees, for ten or 
fifteen miles. A little above the fall there is a small island^ 
and the river divides in two. The timber in general is gum, 
oak, and Banksia ; the two latter are small ; the gum two to 
four feet diameter, and from ten to thirty feet high ; on some of 
the low ground they are something larger. We were not more 
than half a mile from the river. Betumed back and crossed a 
a neck of land 330 paces over * while the boat went round. 
Came to our old station at the large lagoon. I went about two 
miles inland, and fell in with seven natives. I saw Messrs. 
Bobbins, Grimes, and McCallum at the lagoon. From the hill 
saw the vessel ; returned to the river, and after dinner set out 
for the vessel, where we arrived about seven o'clock ; the land 
at two miles inland is of a better quality than the specimen. 

" Wednesday, 9th, — Continued to survey from the mouth of 
the river (at WUliamstown). The land for two or three miles is 
a gentle rise jfrom the beach, which is muddy, or by large stones ; 
the land stiff clay, stones appearing at top ; a little further, 
nearer the beach, a swamp, light black sand, white shells at 
bottom. There is a slip of trees about half a mile firom the 
beach, then a clear, level plain to the mountains, which I sup- 
pose to be fifteen or twenty miles. Passed two inlets of salt 
water. Got on board at two. 

" Thursday, 10th, — ^At six o'clock the same party went on shore. 

* Batman's Hill. » Gardiner's Creek. 

• DighVs Falls. * Studley Park. 

Discovery. 13 

The slip of trees by the beach continued about two miles, when 
the shore became high, about eight or ten feet above high 
water mark ; we proceeded on for four or five miles, and the 
wind being contrary we observed the vessel ' bring to,' and we 
walked back and got on board about three o'clock. Several 
nautilus shells picked up. 

" Friday, llth. — At eight o'clock the captain, doctor, self, and 
carpenter, went on shore. We observed a hill at a distance, 
and made to it ; we crossed the two runs seen ^ on the 9th, one 
ends in a swamp, the other salt water where we crossed it ; the 
country very l§vel, some plains, stony, and much water to 
lodge in it in wet weather. Went to the top of the hill ; it is 
stony ; could see about ten miles around us a level plain ^ with 
a few straggling bushes. The face of the ground is one-third 
grass, one ditto stone, and one ditto earth, mostly newly burnt. 
Returned back nearly the same course, and found some brackish 
water in one of the runs we crossed before. Got on board about 
three o'clock. 

*' Saturday^ 12th. — Anchor up at sunrise ; proceeded up to the 
bay opposite to the place where the surveyors left off on the 
10th,* the vessel being about the middle of the bay. We 
crossed over in the boat to the other shore. The party con- 
sisted of the captain, Mr. Grimes, the doctor, self, and seven sea- 
men and marines, in all eleven, with four days' provisions ; got 
on shore at five o'clock. I went on the top of a hill, where the land 
is good and fine pasture from ten to eighteen inches deep, fine 
black earth, with white, sandy clay or gravel bottom. The 
timber small and the same as before mentioned. Came up with 
the doctor, and we went about two miles in, the country 
appearing the same. 

" Sunday, ISth. — Set out at six o'clock, the captain and 
three men in the boats, the rest on shore. The land and timber 
is of the same quality for several miles, and there are fine 
dingles, which are runs of water in wet seasons, but all dry. 
The shore became swampy, crossed the mud up to the knees ; 
it continued low and muddy a considerable way. We stopped 
and dined opposite to a salt lagoon ; started soon after, having 
but little water. The swamp continued some miles fiirther, 
when I saw a high point of land, which I crossed, and it being 
now sunset, stopped the night. We dug for water, but it was 
salt ; we had not half a pint per man. 

''Monday, 14dh. — Continued our course as soon as it was 
light. A large swamp two or three thousand acres, a brush of 
saltwort. Crossed two places up to the middle. Came to 
a fine green hill, very fine land, eighteen inches deep of rich 
black soil. The captain went on before in search of water, but 

^ Eoroit and Skelton creeks. ^ Werribee Plains. ^ Point Cook. 

14 Post Phillip Settlement. 

found none. I crossed over the hill to the beach, and found an 
acid spring. Hailed the boat^ and the surveyor came up about ^ 
ten o'clock, when we breakfasted, and filled the cask and pro- 
ceeded on. The land behind the hill high and woody. Came 
round to a river ; ^ went up it about a mile in company with 
the doctor. At the end of the salt water found a hole miade by 
natives ; drank of it and returned back to the beach where the 
boat had ' brought up.' I went back to the hole, and dug' it 
larger, and brought some of the water. The land is not of so 
good a quality after I crossed the river; timber small and 
crooked, mostly oak and Banksia. 

" Tuesday, \bth. — In the morning two men went for some 
water, and set out about eight o'clock. I went over a plain and 
met with a river,^ went up about a mile and a half; it con- 
tinued salt and wide. Returned to the beach, where the party 
was waiting for the boat to take them over ; it being low water 
the boat could not get up ; crossed it up to the middle, and a 
little farther, dined. Proceeded on round a point,' the land 
stony, and no wood ; came to a swamp and another river.^ I 
did not go up it as it was near night. Had much difficulty to 
find wood. 

" Wednesday, l%th, — Breakfasted before daylight. The captain 
and crew went back to the native hole for wat^r, whilst the 
others proceeded on by land. Swamps, with gentle rising stony 
ground ; some scaites of lagoons and small runs, all dry. About 
two o'clock the boat came up with us ; our provision was all 
out. We had got four geese ; stopped and dressed them, and 
walked on till sunset ; a bad fire this night. Five pounds of 
bread per week. Passed three islands, one large and two 
small ; ^ saw mangroves on the lar^e island, only a i^w scattered 
trees on the plain. Many swans, aucks, and luggs. 

" Thursday 17th. — ^A bad fire and swampy beach this night. 
Had about one pound of flour ; boiled it for our breakfast for 
all hands. Mr. Qrimes would not go any further without 
provisions; the captain went off to the vessel for some, and 
inadvertently took what water we had left with him. Mr. 
Grimes called him back, got the water in a camp kettle, and 
proceeded on about a mile. Came to a river ; ^ went up it about 
two miles in company with the doctor, where we found excellent 
fresh water. There is no run above the fresh water, only some 
pools; it appeared to be a considerable run in wet seasons. 
Crossed over to the other side, and came opposite to Mr. Grimes 
and party, and they went round. The land was a little better 
by the river side, but swampy near the sea. Proceeded on to 
another river ; it ended in a swamp about a mile up. Soon 

* The Wenibee. « The Little River. » Point Wilson. 

* Duck Ponds. ^ Bird Rock. • Duck Ponds. 

Discovery. 15 

after the boat returned from the ship, when we sat down to 
dinner. Afterwards continued our march to another large 
river. ^ The boat being at hand, it took over Mr. Qrimes and 
his party ; he proceeded to the place where he left off on the 
10th, and I went up the river a little way in the boat. It 
is the second in size we have met with. The captain did not 
think fit to go further, and we returned and were soon joined 
by the surveyor, &c. Got on board about seven o'clock. 

''Friday^ 18^A. — ^Anchor up at sunrise: came opposite the 
place we slept on the 12th instant. As we went out of the 
boat eleven natives met us ; they were very civil I gave one 
of them a biscuit ; he looked at it. I took it again, ate of it, 
when he did the same ; whatever we said they said it after us. 
There was one who appeared to be their chief They handed 
us their spears to look at ; one of them was barbed, and one 
with two prongs. They followed us as we went on, and Mr. Qrimes 
seemed much frightened, and hailed the boat to follow us ; 
when the boat came up, he went on board. I made signs for 
them to come into the boat, but they would not venture. Two 
of them appeared to be marked with the smallpox. After 
dinner we went on shore with an additional guard ; they all met 
us again. ^ Gave them some fish, a tomahawk, and an old hat ; 
they put our hands to their breasts, and looked into my haver- 
sack. The boat loitered behind us, and the sailors said that 
they took the lead line and hoe out of the boat, and some fish : 
got the line again, but not the hoe. The land is a light sand 
from the point of the hill and in some places swampy ; the 
timber something larger, consisting of gum, oak, Banksia, and 
mimosa, some small pine, one half of it dead by the country 
being lately burnt. Got on board at dusk. 

" Saturday, \9th. — ^Weighed anchor at daylight ; came oppo- 
site to the place we left last night Dropped anchor and 
breakfasted. Got on shore about nine o'clock. The beach 
muddy ; the land a swamp ; timber as before. Came opposite 
to an island {Swari). The vessel ' brought to,' and we went on 
board about one o'clock. Soon after our arrival on shore two 
of the natives we had seen on the preceding day came to us. 
They looked much at my buttons; I cut two off and gave 
each of them one, and some biscuit. They went with us 
upwards of a mile and returned. After dinner Mr. Grimes 
went to take some bearings, and the captain to sound. 

" Sunday, 2Qth, — ^All hands on board till after dinner. The 
captain went to sound, and a^ved at dusk. 

" Monday, 21st. — Anchor up at daylight ; dropped ditto about 
seven. The captain, Mr. Grimes, and a party of seamen and 
marines, went on shore ; we were now in sight of the entrance 

* Cowie*8 Creek. 

16 Port Phillip Settlement. 

of the port. Mr. Robbins^told me not to go on shore ; it began 
to blow and rain, and they all came on board at two o'clock. 

" Tuesday y 22nd, — Weighed anchor at sunrise, and came to 
the opposite shore. Mr. Grimes and assistants went to finish 
the survey on the south-east point of the entrance ; the captain 
to sound. They returned on board about 4 P.M. 

" Wednesday, 23rd. — Weighed anchor about seven o'clock, 
and came opposite to the watering-place. The wooding and 
watering parties went on shore. I went to examine the run of 
water ; it was dry, except a small pond near the beach. Traced 
the run about a quarter of a mile ; it ends in a lagoon, which 
was dry. 

" Thursday, 24<A. — ^All hands wooding, watering, and washing. 
I sowed a variety of seeds by the watering-place ; the land is 
light and sandy. I went towards the bottom of Arthur's Seat, 
and met with lagoon with fresh water. The captain and Mr. 
Grimes came on shore in the evening, and all hands got on 
board at dusk. 

" Friday, 25th. — ^About nine o'clock the captain, Grimes, and 
doctor went to examine a shoal and take some bearings ; they 
came on board about two, and in the afternoon some of the 
crew went on shore to finish their washing. About ten at 
night the man on watch observed the small boat gone; the 
whale-boat was inmiediately sent in search of her. 

"Saturday, 2Qth. — ^About four o'clock in the morning the 
party that went in search of the boat returned without her, 
when another party was sent at daylight. The captain saw the 
boat at a small distance from the vessel ; weighed anchor and 
took her in tow, and made a signal for the whale-boat to come 
alongside. Dropped anchor, and after breakfast the captain and 
Mr. Grimes went on shore ; they returned about one, and in the 
afternoon weighed anchor, and dropped down to the Heads and 
took in the whale-boat." 

The next morning they were all out of the bay. The party 
had made a tolerably exact observation of the country all round 
the port, from Point Nepean along the eastern side to the 
Tarra, and by the western shore of the bay southward to 
Point Lonsdale, though going a very short distance from the 
beach. The conclusion of the report was as follows : — 

" The most eligible place for a settlement that I have seen 
is on the Freshwater River (Yarra). In several places there 
are small tracts of good land, but they are without wood and 
water. I have every reason to think that there is not often 
so great a scarcity of water as at present from the appearance 

Discovery. 17 

of the herbage. The country in general is excellent pasture and 
thin of timber, which is mostly low and crooked. In most 
places there is fine clay for bricks, and abundance of stone. I 
am of opinion that the timber is better both in quality and size 
further up the country, as I saw some that is called ash on the 
banks of the Freshwater River, and the hills appear to be clothed 
with wood. As to the quantity of good land at the different 
places, I shall be better able to describe when I am favoured 
with a sight of a chart, as I have not been permitted to see one 
since I came out. There is plenty of fish in Port Kino (Port 
Phillip). The country in general is newly burnt." 





How came Port Phillip to be selected for colonization ? 

When Flinders reached Sydney he was warmly received by 
his old friend Governor King. Naturally, the story of Port Phillip 
and its beautiful country would be told by the explorer. Just then 
the mind of Captain King was- much exercised about the aggres- 
sive conduct of the French, whose discovery ships were rightly 
viewed as having a military and commercial commission. The 
arch foes of the British nation were evidently seeking an 
establishment near Port Jackson. The Governor jumped to the 
conclusion that Port Phillip would be just the location to find 
favour in French eyes, and he took prompt measures to block 

the way. 

On May 21st, 1802, but few days after his talk with Flinders, 

his Excellency wrote to the Ministry about his fears of the 
French, and strongly urged a penal settlement at Port Phillip. 
The new country, said he, was more favourably situated than 
Sydney, with" a much more eligible climate for raising wheat than 
this is." In that day, especially, the superiority of a place was 
judged according to its capability for the growth of corn. Not 
content with a letter, he sent off Jlr. Grimes, the Surveyor 
General, and Lieutenant Robbins, to make a correct observation 
of the coastline of the Bay. 

All necessary information seemed to be acquired for the 
guidance of Government as to the site of settlement. Flinders 
had then no knowledge of such being about to be formed, al- 
though not unlikely to be ; for he wrote, " Were a settlement to 
be made at Port Phillip, as doubtless there wiU be some time 
hereafter." The British Ministry did not wait for the report of 

Settlement of 1803. 19 

the survey of the Bay, but resolved to despatch a party without 

In the English spring of 1803 the expedition set off, arriving 
at its destination in the Australian spring. The command was 
given to Lieutenant-Colonel Collins of the Marines. That gentle-* 
man had been in New South Wales, occupymg a post of honour 
and difficulty there, being Judge Advocate of the colony. To 
perform the duties of that office, some education was required ; 
though a military man was not out of place at the head of a 
military Court, under a military rule. His interesting History 
of New South Wales, and his intimate knowledge of colonial 
administration, were sufficient recommendations for his selection 
as leader. 

The Calcutta, man-of-war, and the Ocean, transport, carried 
the colonists and their stores. They sailed from Portsmouth 
Apii] 26th, 1803, and reached Port Phillip October 10th. 

The history of the Settlement is mainly derived from three 
sources ; Tuckey's work, entitled Voyage to establish a Colony at 
Port Phillip ; the official papers of Lieutenant-Governor Collins, 
and the journal of the chaplain of the expedition, the Rev. 
Ro'bert Knopwood. 

We may first take up the sailor s narrative. 

Mr. Tuckey was First-Lieutenant of H.M.S. Calcutta, selected 
to convey the party to Bass's Strait. He vindicates the policy 
of Government in the selection of men-of-war, rather than 
ordinary merchant vessels, for the conveyance of convicts ; 

"By employing king's ships on this service, a number of 
officers and seamen would be provided for, who might otherwise 
emigrate to foreign services, and be totally lost to their country ; 
and, again, it must naturally be supposed that the officers, 
having neither pecuniary nor commercial interest in the voyage, 
would conduct it upon principles very different from those of 
mercenary, and perhaps illiterate, traders ; at the same time that 
the former would be enabled to keep the convicts in a better 
state of discipline, and also be more careful of their health, by 
that constant attention to cleanliness which characterises the 
British Navy." 

He then enters upon the reasons for the formation of the 
new colony at Port Phillip, " discovered by Acting-Lieutenant 

c 2 

20 Port Phillip Settlement. 


John Murray, in His Majesty's armed brig. Lady Nelson, and by 
him named Port King." 

"Since the discovery of Bass's Strait," writes he, "it had 
entered into the contemplation of Government to establish a 
settlement at its western entrance, as well from commercial as 
political motives. In the first respect, it would give the greatest 
encouragement to the speculations carried on for seals and sea- 
elephants, at the islands in the Strait, to have a secure port in 
their vicinity, where the produce might be collected until ready 
for exportation ; in the next place, this measure would prevent 
any rival nations from establishing themselves on this coast, who 
might become troublesome neighbours to our colony at Port 
Jackson, which must no longer be considered as a contemptible 
part of the British Dominions ; and to which the possession of 
Bass's Strait would give us a less tedious and circuitous access. 
Port Phillip, on the north shore of the Strait, which was 
reported to be an excellent harbour, seemed, from its geo- 
graphical position, to possess all the advantages required in 
the proposed Settlement." 

Captain Daniel Woodrifif, of the CalciUta, had had some 
previous experience of colonial life at Sydney. The Ocean, 
transport, 500 tons, was chartered for the conveyance of some 
of the officials and military, as well as the settlers, with stores, 
&c. Various delays prevented departure till the 26th of 
April, 1803. 

There were, according to Tuckey, " 307 male convicts, with 
17 of their wives, and 7 children." Another account gives 
12 wives. Of the marines, says Tuckey, there were 4 officers, 
3 Serjeants, 3 corporals, 2 drums, 39 rank and file, 5 women and 
1 child. Of the free settlers, there were 11 men and 1 woman. 
There were also the chaplain, three surgeons, commissary, sur- 
veyor, mineralogist, two overseers, and two superintendents of 
convicts. The Calcutta had nine officers, besides mates, mid- 
shipmen and crew. 

The establishment was to consist of the Lieutenant-Governor, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Collins, at 480Z. a year ; Assistant Chaplain, 
Rev. Robert Knopwood, at 10s. a day ; Surgeon, William J'anson, 
at 10s.; Assistant Surgeons, Mathew Bowden and William 
Hopleyat7s. 6d.; Deputy Commissary, Leonard Fosbrook, 7s, 6d.; 
Deputy Surveyor, George Prid Robert Harris, 7s. 6rf. ; 
Mineralogist, Adalarius W. H. Humphrey, 7s, 6d.; Superin- 

Worrigon^ R cutO. PlaUts 2f. 30. W. 

To facep. W Entrance, to Fort FhMip. 


. »-'.t r V . r '. 

I ^» J j~a.-ij.i 

Settlbment of 1803. 21 

tendents 6f convicts, Thomas Clark and William Patterson,. 50/. 
a year ; overseers, John Ingle and William Parish, 25L ; The 
Marine oflBcers were, ' First-Lieutenant, William Sladden ; 
Second, J. M. Johnson; Third, Edward Lord. Captain Barcauld, 
appointed Judge Advocate, never sailed. 

The names of the free settlers, or those having the permission 
of Government to go in the Ocean, are these ; — two seamen. 
Hartley and Collins ; two carpenters, Thomas Collingwood and 
Edward Newman ; a mason. Ant. Fletcher ; a cutler (!), John 
Skilhome, and a pocket-book manufacturer (! !), T. R. Preston. 
Few would be taken, as few would offer at the first. The trades 
of three others are not given ; E. F. Hamilton, John J. Gravie, 
and Pownall, who may have been useful in their way. A female 
servant is also noted. But there must have been others, after 
the list had been made up, since we read of Blinkworth, dealer 
in clothing, with others. Hartley, down as a seaman, opened a 

Of the women accompanying their husbands, our romantic 
lieutenant has the following story : — 

" Among the convicts on board were some who, by prodigality 
and its attendant vices, had degraded themselves from a re- 
spectable rank in society, and were indebted to the lenity of 
their prosecutors alone for an escape from the last sentence of 
the law. Some of these men were accompanied by their wives 
(as the father of Mr. John Pascoe Fawkner), who had married 
them in the sunshine of prosperity, when the world smiled 
deceitfully, and their path of life appeared strewed with un- 
fading flowers ; in the season of adversity they would not be 
separated, but reposed their heads on the same thorny pillow ; 
and as they had shared with them the cup of joy, they refused 
not that of sorrow. Those alone who know the miserable and 
degraded situation of a transported felon, can appreciate the 
degree of connubial love that could induce these women to ac- 
company their guilty husbands in their exile. The laws can 
only msJce distinction in crimes, while the criminals, whatever 
may have been their former situation in life, must suffer alike 
for crimes of the same nature ; it, therefore, entirely depended 
on us to ameliorate their condition, and grant such indulgences 
as the nature and degree of the crime, and the otherwise general 
character and conduct of the prisoner, seemed to deserve. To 
these helpless females all the attention that humanity dictated, 
and that the nature of our service would permit, were extended, 
but still it was impossible to separate their situations entirely 

- / 

22 Port Phillip Settlement. 

from their guilty husbands ; they were consequently far, very 
far, from being comfortable ; and one of them, borne down by 
the first hardships of the voyage, which she felt with redoubled 
force, being far advanced in her pregnancy, fell a victim to her 
misplaced affection before our arrival at Teneriflfe." 

A large part of Mr. Tuckey's little volume refers to the differ- 
ent places at which the vessels called on their way out ; as 
Teneriffe, Cape Verde Islands, Brazil, and the Cape of Good 
Hope. Our object is gained by a consultation of that portion 
relating to the time at Port Phillip. This division of his work 
we shall now give in its entirety. 

"On Saturday, October 10th, we at last made King Island, 
in the entrance of Bass's Strait, whicli we had anxiously looked 
out for the two preceding days ; the wind being from the N.E. 
obliged us to stand within three miles of the island, which 
through the haze we observed to be moderately high and level, 
with three sandy hills nearly in the centre. The increasing 
breeze and lowering sky, which portended a coming gale, pre- 
vented our examining the island more miiiutely. Fortunately 
we stood oflF in time to gain a sufficient offing before the gale 
commenced, which during the night blew a perfect hurricane 
between the N.W. and S.W. This night of danger and anxiety 
was succeeded by a morning beautifully serene, which showed us 
the southern coast of New South Wales. From the total want 
of information respecting the appearance of the land on this 
coast, we were doubtful as to our situation, and approached the 
shore with cautious diffidence ; at length the break in the land 
which forms the entrance of Port Philip was observed, but a 
surf, apparently breaking across it, created at first some mistrust 
of its identity, until the man at the mast-head observing a ship 
at anchor within, which was soon recognised for the Ocean, 
removed all doubt, and without farther hesitation we pushed in 
for the entrance. A fair wind and tide soon carried us through ; 
and in a few minutes we were presented with a picture highly 
contrasted with the scene we had lately contemplated : an 
•xpanse of water bounded in many places only by the horizon, 
%nd unruffled as the bosom of unpolluted innocence, presented 
itself to the charmed eye, which roamed over it in silent admira- 
tion. The nearer shores, along which the ship glided at the 
distance of a mile, afforded the most exquisite scenery, and 
recalled the idea of " Nature in the world's first spring." In 
short, every circumstance combined to impress our minds with 
the highest satisfaction for our safe arrival, and in creating those 

Settlement of 1803. 23 

emotions which diffused themselves in thanksgiving to that 
Almighty Guide who conducted us through tlie pathless ocean, 
to the spot of our destination. 

** The week following our arrival at Port Philip was occupied 
in searching for an eligible spot to fix the settlement. As it 
was of the first consequence that this should be of easy access 
to shipping, the shores near the mouth of the port were first 
examined. Here, to our great mortification, we observed a total 
want of fresh water, and found the soil so extremely light and 
sandy as to deny all hopes of successful cultivation. As it was, 
however, determined to land the people, a small bay eight 
miles from the harbour's mouth was pitched upon for that 
purpose, where, by sinking casks, water of a tolerable quality was 
procured, and here the camp was pitched ; and on the 16th of 
October, the marines and convicts were landed, while the ships 
immediately began to discharge their cargoes. 

" On the first days of our landing, previous to the general 
debarkation. Captain Woodriff, Colonel Collins, and the First- 
Lieutenant of the Calcutta had some interviews with the natives, 
who came to the boats entirely unarmed, and without the 
smallest symptom of apprehension ; presents of blankets, bis- 
cuits, etc., were given to them, with which, except in one 
instaiice, they departed satisfied and inoffensive. The wash streak 
of the boat striking one of their fancies, he seized it, and threw 
it behind the bushes ; to show him the impropriety of this, the 
blankets which had before been given them were taken away, 
and they were made to understand that they would not be 
restored until the board was brought back by him who conveyed 
it away : this, after some delay and much reluctance, was at last 

"Though the vicinity of the harbours mouth afforded no 
situation calculated for the establishment of the colony, it was 
naturally expected from the extent of the port (its extremes 
being sunk in the horizon) that convenient spots might be 
found ; and the First-Lieutenant of the Calcutta^ with two boats, 
was directed to ascertain this material point, by as carefiil a 
survey of the port as time would permit. From the- reports of 
this survey, made to Captain Woodriff, the following descriptive 
particulars are extracted : — 

" Port Philip lies in the bottom of a deep bight between Cape 
Albany, Otway, and Point Schank. Coming from the westward, 
the port may be known by a single bluff headland without trees, 
rising from low land, thickly wooded, about four leagues to the 
westward of the entrance, to which we gave the name of Whale- 
head from its resemblance to that fish. The prevalence of 
southerly winds renders Port Philip easily accessible, but in the 
same proportion the egress is diflScult, for Point Schank bearing 

24 Port Phillip Settlement. 

S.E. and Cape Otway S.W. it is obvious that with the wind at 
south a ship would not clear either, and the heavy swell that 
constantly tumbles on the coast between Port Philip and Western 
Port, will often render it impossible (particularly in light winds) 
to keep off the shore, which here presents a continued barrier of 
rocks, that denies the smallest hope of escape to those dashed 
upon it. 

" The face of the country bordering on the port is beautifully 
picturesque, swelling into gentle elevations of the brightest 
verdure, and dotted with trees, as if planted by the hand of 
taste, while the ground is covered with a profusion of flowers of 
every colour ; in short, the external appearance of the country 
flattered us into the almost delusive dreams of fruitfulness and 

'* The soil (except in a few places where marl is found mixed 
with vegetable mould) is invariably sandy, and its blackness 
proceeds from the ashes of the burnt grass, which has everywhere 
been set fire to by the natives. The proportion of sand varies, 
and in some spots the soil may be sufficiently strong to produce 
vegetables and, perhaps, Indian corn; but it may safely be 
asserted, that (excepting a few acres at the head of the port) no 
spot within five miles of the water will produce wheat or any 
other grain that requires either much moisture or good soiL On 
some of the highest elevations an arid sea-sand is found, giving 
nourishment to no other vegetable than heath and fern. The 
bases of the hill consist of very coarse granite, which is here 
found in every stage of formation, firom grains scarcely adhering, 
and crumbling into sand between the fingers, to the perfect stone 
which almost defies the chisel. 

" The great scarcity of water is one of the greatest disadvan- 
tages the port labours under. In the narrow glens between the 
hiUs the marks of watercourses are visible, but at this time 
(October) they are mostly dried up ; pools of fresh water are 
found scattered about the port, but they are merely drains from 
swamps, and from their stagnation are strongly impregnated with 
decayed vegetable substances. 

" On the eastern side of the port, twenty-eight miles from the 
entrance, a stream of fresh water empties itself into the port. 
This stream runs through an extensive swamp, and appears to 
be a branch from a large river, at the northern extremity of the 
port, which the shortness of time and badness of the weather 
prevented our examining. The bed of this stream is covered 
with foliaceous mica, which our people at first conceived to be 
gold dust, and thence expected they had discovered an 

" On the west side of the port is an extensive lagoon, the 
water of which is too shoal to admit even small boats but at full 

Settlement of 1803. 23 

tides; and in several places salt lagoons are found, generally 
close by the beach, where ducks, teals, and swans, are found 
in abundance. 

" The timber, within five miles of the beach, is chiefly the gfhe- 
oak, which is only fit for cabinet work ; the trees are open, and 
the country is entirely free from underwood, except in the 
swamps, which are always covered with an impenetrable brush. 
The other kinds of timber trees are very thinly scattered within 
the above limits ; they are the blue-gum, stringy-bark, honey- 
suckle, box, and a kind of pine ; of these the three first grow to 
a large size, and, when sound, would probably be useful in ship- 
building. From the lightness of the soil, as well as its want of 
depth, the trees shoot their roots horizontally, and having no 
hold on the ground, are blown down in great numbers by every 
strong wind. 

" Of potable vegetables, wild celery, wild parsnip, scurvy-grass, 
and samphire were found in great abundance, and several other 
kinds were eaten by our people. The only fruits we found were 
the cone of the she-oak, which when green has a pleasantly 
acid taste, and a small berry, called by the colonists the Port 
Jackson cherry. 

" The kangaroo is the largest animal yet discovered in New 
Holland ; it inhabits the neighbourhood of Port Philip in con- 
siderable numbers, weighing from 50 to 150 lb. ; the native dog, 
the opossum, flying squirrel, and field rat make up the catalogue 
of animals we observed. Aquatic birds are found in abun- 
dance on the lagoons, and so are black swans, ducks, teal, black 
and pied shags, pelicans, gulls, red-bills (a beach bird), herons, 
curlews and sand-larks; the land birds are eagles, crows, 
ravens, quail, bronze-winged pigeons, and many beautiful 
varieties of the parrot tribe, particularly the large black 
cockatoo ; the emu is also a native of this part of the country, 
its eggs having been found here. Three varieties of snakes 
were observed, all of which appeared to be venomous. The 
species of insects are almost innumerable: among them are 
upwards of one hundred and fifty different kinds of beautiful 
moths ; several kinds of beetles, the animated straw, &c. The 
swamps are inhabited by myriads of mosquitoes of an extra- 
ordinary size ; but the common fly, which swarms almost beyond 
belief, possesses all the offensive powers of the mosquito, its 
sting creating an equal degree of pain and inflammation. Wasps 
are also common, but no bees were seen. 

" Fish, it may safely be asserted, is so scarce that it could 
never be depended on as a source of eflFectual relief in the event of 
scarcity. Several varieties of the ray were almost the only ones 
caught, with sometimes a few mullet, and other small fish ; in 
general, a day's work with the seine produced scarcely a good 

26 Port Phillip Settlement. 

dish of fish. The number of sharks which infest the harbour 
may occasion this scarcity of small fish. The rocks outside the 
harbour's mouth are frequented by seals and sea-elephants. The 
shell-fish are oysters, limpets, mussels, escalops, cockles, sea-ears ; 
and very large cray-fish are found among the rocks. 

" Deeming minerals, as well as limestone, coal, and clays, of 
the greatest consequence to the colony, particular attention was 
paid to searching for them ; the only appearance of minerals was 
in large masses of iron-stone, in some specimens of which, the 
shape, colour and weight, seemed to authorise the conclusion of 
its richness. Limestone was found in many places, but the 
search for coal was fruitless. Several kinds of clay fit for 
pottery, bricks, &c., were found in abundance, but always more 
or less mixed with sand ; indeed, after displacing a thin covering 
of sand and ashes, the bottom, in most places, was found to be 
a soft, friable sandstone of a yellowish colour. 

" With respect to climate, we had not sufficient time to judge 
of its effects on the human constitution ; the vicissitudes of heat 
and cold are very great, the thermometer varying from 50° to 
9G**, between sunrise and noon of the same day; and on the 
19th and 21st of October it froze pretty smartly at the head of 
the port. The N.W. winds, which come on in violent squalls, 
have all the disagreeable effects of the sirocco of the Levant, 
but seldom last more than an hour, when the wind returns to 
the S.W. with thunder, lightning, and rain. 

" The N.W. side of the port, where a level plain extends to 
the northward as far as the horizon, appears to be by far the 
most populous ; at this place, upwards of two hundred natives 
assembled round the surveying boats, and their obviously hostile 
intentions made the application of firearms absolutely necessary 
to repel them, by which one native was killed and two or three 
wounded. Previous to this time, several interviews had been 
held with separate parties, at different places, during w^hich the 
most friendly intercourse was maintained, and endeavoured to 
be strengthened on our part by presents of blankets, beads, &c. 
At these interviews they appeared to have a perfect knowledge 
of the use of firearms ; and as they seemed terrified even at the 
sight of them, they were kept entirely out of view. The last 
interview, which terminated ^ so unexpectedly hostile, had at its 
commencement the same friendly appearance. Three natives, 
unarmed, came to the boats, and received fish, bread, and 
blankets. Feeling no apprehension from three naked and un- 
armed savages, the first lieutenant proceeded with one boat to 
continue the survey, while the other boat's crew remained on 
shore to dress dinner and procure water. The moment the first 
boat disappeared, the three natives took leave, and in less than 
an hour returned with forty more, headed by a chief who seemed 

Settlement of 1803. 27 

« > 

to possess much authority. This party immediately divided, some 
taking ofif the attention of tlie people who had charge of the 
tent (in which was Mr. Harris the surveyor of the colony) while 
the rest surrounded the boats, the oars, masts, and sails of which 
were used in erecting the tent. Their intention to plunder was 
immediately visible, and all the exertions of the boat's crew 
were insuflficient to prevent their possessing themselves of a 
tomahawk, an ax, and a saw. In this situation, as it was im- 
possible to get the boat away, everything belonging to her beiiig 
on shore, it was thought advisable to temporise, an<l wait the 
return of the other boat, without having recourse to firearms, if 
it could possibly be avoided ; and, for this purpose, bread, meat, 
and blankets were given them. These condescensioiiS, however, 
seemed only to increase their boldness, and their numbers having 
been augmented by the junction of two other parties, amounted 
to more than two hundred. At this critical time the other boat 
came in sight, and observing the crowd and tumult at the tent, 
pushed towards them with all possible despatch. Upon ap- 
proaching the shore, the unusual warlike appearance of the 
natives was immediately observed, and as they seemed to have 
entire possession of the tent, serious apprehensions were enter- 
tained for Mr. Harris and two of the boat's crew, who it was 
noticed were not at the boat. At the moment that the grapnel 
was hove out of the lieutenant's boat, to prevent her taking the 
ground, one of the natives seized the master's mate, who had 
charge of the other boat, and held him fast in his arms, a general 
cry of ' Fire, sir ; for God's sake, fire ! ' was now addressed firom 
those on shore to the first lieutenant. Hoping the report only 
would sufficiently intim'date them, two muskets were fired over 
their heads ; for a moment they seemed to pause, and a few 
retreated behind the trees, but immediately returned, clapping 
their hands, and shouting vehemently. Four muskets with 
buckshot, and the fowling-pieces of the gentlemen with small 
shot, were now fired among them, and from a general howl, very 
diflferent from their former shouts, many were supposed to be 
struck. This discharge created a general panic, and leaving their 
cloaks behind, they flew in every direction among the trees. It 
was hoped the business would have terminated here, and orders 
were therefore given to strike the tent, and prepare to quit the 
territory of such disagreeable neighbours. While thus employed, 
a large party were seen again assembling behind a hill, at the 
foot of which was our tent : they advanced in a compact body to 
the brow of the hill, every individual armed with a spear, and 
some, who appeared to be the attendants of others, carrying 
bundles of them; when within a hundred yards of us they 
halted, and the chief, with one attendant, came down to the tent; 
and spoke with great vehemence, holding a very large war spear 


28 Port Phillip Settlement. 

in a position for throwing. The first lieutenant, wishing to 
restore peace if possible, laid down his gun, and advancing to 
the chief, presented him with several cloaks, necklaces, and 
spears, which had been left behind on their retreat ; the chief 
took his own cloak and necklace, and gave the others to his 
attendant. His countenance and gestures all this time betrayed 
more of angef than fear, and his spear appeared every moment 
upon the point of quitting his hand. When the cloaks were all 
given up, the body on the hill began to descend, shouting and 
flourishing their spears. Our people were immediately drawn 
up, and ordered to present their muskets loaded with ball, 
while a last attempt was made to convince the chief, that if his 
people continued to approach they would be immediately fired 
upon. These threats were either not properly understood, or 
were despised, and it was deemed absolutely necessary for our 
own safety, to prove the power of our firearms, before they came 
near enough to injure us with their spears ; selecting one of the 
foremost, who appeared to be most violent, as a proper example, 
three muskets were fired at him, at fifty yards* distance, two of 
which took effect, and he fell dead on the spot, the chief turning 
round at 'the report saw him fall, and immediately fled among 
the trees ; a general dispersion succeeded, and the dead body 
was left behind. 

" Among these savages, gradations of rank could be distinctly 
traced, founded most probably upon personal qualities and 
external appearance. In these respects the chief far excelled 
the rest; his figure was masculine and weU-proportioned, and 
his air bold and commanding. When first he was seen approach- 
ing the boat, he was raised upon the shoulders of two men, and 
surrounded by the whole party, shouting and clapping their 
hands. Besides his cloak, which was only distinguished by its 
superior size, he wore a necklace of reeds, and several strings of 
human hair over his breast. His head was adorned with a 
coronet of the wing-feathers of the swan, very neatly arranged, 
and which had a pleasing effect. The faces of several were 
painted with red, white, and yellow clays, and others had a reed 
or bone run through the septum of the nose, perhaps increasing 
in length according to rank, for the chiefs was by far the long- 
est, and must have measured at least two feet. Ornamental 
scars on the shoulders were general, and the face of one was 
deeply pitted as if from the small pox, though that disease is 
not known to exist in New HoUand. A very great difference 
was observed in the comparative cleanliness of these savages ; 
some of them were so abominably beastly, that it required the 
strongest stomach to look on them without nausea, while others 
were sufficiently cleanly to be viewed without disgust. The 
beards, which are remarkably bushy, in the former were allowed 

Settlement of 1803. 29 

to grow, while in the latter they were cut close, apparently by a 
sharp instrument, probably a shell. 

" The only covering they make use of to preserve their persons 
from the winter's cold is a square cloak of opossum skins, neatly 
sewed together, and thrown loosely over their shoulders ; the 
fleshy side, which is worn inwards, is marked with parallel lines, 
forming squares, lozenges, etc., and sometimes with uncouth 
human figures in the attitudes of dancing. 

" Their arms are spears, used with a throwing stick, like those 
of Port Jackson; their shields are made of a hard wood and 
neatly carved ; their war-spears are barbed with pieces of white 
spar, or shark's teeth, fastened on with red gum, and within a 
certain distance must be very dangerous offensive weapons. 
Their fish-gigs are pointed with the bone of the kangaroo,^ and 
with them they strike the rays which lie in shoal water. We 
saw no fish-hooks nor other implements for fishing in deep 
water, nor any appearance of canoe, or other water conveyance. 
Their food consists chiefly of shell-fish, and their ingenuity in 
procuring more substantial aliment, seems confined to the con- 
struction of a rude trap, upon the projecting points of the 
harbour, where the water-fowl alighting at night are entangled 
and caught. The scarcity of food must at times reduce them to 
great extremities. If they ever quit the vicinity of the water, 
their sole subsistence must be on lizards, grubs and the few 
opossums they may be able to kill ; for the kangaroo, both by 
its activity and wariness, I should suppose to be out of the reach 
of their weapons or their ingenuity. The skins of these animals 
having never been seen with the natives corroborates this 
opinion, and it is probable, that the bones with which their 
fish-gigs are pointed, are those of animals which have died a 
natural death. That they scruple not to eat lizards and grubs 
as well as a very large worm found in the gum-trees we had 
ocular demonstration ; indeed, the latter they seem to consider 
a very great delicacy. Bread, beef, and fish, which they received 
from us, they devoured with great eagerness, swallowing large 
pieces without chewing, as if afraid of its being taken from 
them, but in no instance could we get them to drink. Spirits 
they appeared to dislike from the smell alone, and sweet punch 
they would taste and spit out again with disapprobation. They 
chew the green leaves of various plants, several of which had a 
sUght astringent taste, and an aromatic smell. 

" Their huts merely serve the purpose of temporary shelter 
from the weather. They are constructed of branches of trees 
placed slanting and open on one side, which is always to leeward ; 
if a fallen tree is near, it usually serves to support the hut, and 
sometimes when coarse grass is convenient, it is interwoven with 
the branches. Their fires are made at the very entrance of the 

30 Port Thillip Settlement. 

huts, and if the wind sliifts must be immediately removed. We 

liad no opportunity of observing their method of first kindling 

a fire, as the parties we saw had always a fire-brand with them, 

by which, and a little dry grass, they soon made a 'roaring 

blaze/ The only traces of society we could observe, was in a 

cluster of five huts, near which a well of brackish water was ' 

probably the only inducement to so close a neighbourhood. 

How they supply themselves with water in general we were at 

a loss to guess, for, upon the closest examination, none was found 

within several miles of the place where they had constructed 

their huts. We had a sufficient proof of their burying their 

dead, by finding a human skeleton three feet under ground, 

while digging for water; its decayed state evinced its having 

been in the ground long before the arrival of any European at . 

this port. 

" The only domestic utensil observed among them was a straw 
basket, made with tolerable neatness. Their cookery is confined 
to broiling, in which they are not very delicate ; for the fish they 
- sometimes received from us were put on the fire, and devoured 
without the usual preparation of gutting, cleansing, &c. 
Blankets they received with much satisfaction ; but though 
several to whom they were given paid us visits afterwards, 
their blankets were always left behind, and they presented 
themselves shivering with cold. This manoeuvre might probably 
be intended to induce a repetition of the gift, unless we suppose 
them to have been given to their women, which would argue a 
degree of civilization from which they are immeasurably re- 
moved. Though in our first interviews they seemed to be 
stupidly devoid of curiosity, and viewed our persons and boats 
with the most perfect indifference, yet tlieir latter conduct 
shows that many of our conveniences appeared valuable, and 
fear was at last found much more powerful in detemng them 
from appropriating these things to themselves, than any idea of 
right or wrong. The natives of this part of New South Wales 
appear to differ very little from those in the vicinity of Port 
Jackson ; the same cast of features bespeaks the same origin ; 
their arms, their ornaments, and their dances are much alike, 
and they seem to differ only in language, and in the ceremony 
of knocking out a front tooth of every male, those of Port 
Philip having their jaws perfect. One woman onlj'^ was seen, 
who retired by desire of the men on our approach, and one boy 
paid us a visit, from whose conduct we could not infer the 
existence of a great degree of subordination, founded on differ- 
ence of age ; this youngster was more loquacious and troublesome 
than the men. 

" Nothing could offer a more perfect picture of reposing 
solitude, than the wilds of Port Philip on our first arrival. Here 

Settlement of 1803. 31 

Contemplation, with her musing sister Melancholy, might find 
an undisturbed retreat. Often at the calm hour of evening I 
have wandered through the woods, 

' Where the rude ax with heaved stroke 
Was never heard the nymphs to daunt. 
Or fright them from their hallow'd haunt.' 

The last hymn of the feathered choristers to the setting sun, 
and the soft murmurs of the breeze, faintly broke the death- 
like silence that reigned around ; while the lightly trodden path 
of the solitary savage, or the dead ashes of his fire, alone 
pointed out the existence of human beings. In the course of 
a very few weeks the scene was greatly altered ; lanes were cut 
in the woods for the passage of timber carriages ; the huts of 
the woodmen were erected beneath the sheltering branches of 
the lofty trees ; the ' busy hum ' of their voices, and the sound 
of their axes, reverberating through the woods, denoted the 
exertions of social industry, and the labours of civilisation. At 
other times, sitting on the carriage of a gun, in front of the 
camp, I have contemplated with succeeding emotions of pity, 
laughter, and astonishment, the scene before me. When I 
viewed so many of my fellowmen, sunk, some of them from a 
rank in life equal or superior to my own, and by their crimes 
degraded to a level with the basest of mankind ; when I saw 
them naked, wading to their shoulders in water to unlade the , 
boats, while a burning sun struck its meridian rays upon their 
uncovered heads, or yoked to and sweating under a timber 
carriage, the wheels of which were sunk up to the axle in sand, 
I only considered their hapless lot, and the remembrance of 
their vices was for a moment absorbed in the greatness of their 
punishment ; I exclaimed with enthusiasm — 

* 'Tis liberty alone that gives the flower 
Of fleeting life its lustre and perfume, 
And we are weeds without it.' 

When, on the other hand, I viewed the lively appearance of the 
camp, the employments of the women, and the ridiculous 
dilemmas into which they were every moment thrown by the 
novelty of their situations, I smiled, and inwardly admiring the 
pliability of mind, which enables us to accommodate ourselves 
to the vicissitudes of fortune, confessed that the pride of in- 
dependence, and the keen sensibility of prosperity, like marks 
imprinted on the sand, are soon effaced by the current of adverse 
circumstances. What once seemed more valuable than life 
itself, even female virtue, grows weaker by degrees, and at last 
falls a sacrifice to present convenience; so true is the poet's 
exclamation, that 'want will perjure the ne'er touched 


32 Port Phillip Settlement. 

"And now again, when I considered the motives; when I 
contrasted the powers, the ingenuity, and the resources of 
civilized man, with the weakness, the ignorance, and the wants 
of the savage he came to dispossess, I acknowledged the im- 
mensity of human intelligence, and feel thankful for the small 
portion dispensed to myself. These thoughts naturally led to 
the contemplation of future possibilities. I beheld a second 
Bome, rising from a coalition of banditti. I beheld it giving 
laws to the world, and superlative in arms and in arts, looking 
down with proud superiority upon the barbarous jaations of the 
northern hemisphere ; thus running over the airy visions of 
empire, wealth and glory, I wandered amidst the delusions of 
imagination. The unfavourable account given of Port Philip, 
by the first-lieutenant of the Calcutta, immediately presented 
the necessity of removing the colony to a more eligible situa- 
tion ; but from a total want of knowledge respecting any recent 
discoveries, which might have been made on the neighbouring 
coasts, it was deemed necessary to receive instructions on this 
head from the Governor-in-Chief at Port Jackson. The Ocean 
TrarisfpoTt, being now discharged, was to proceed on her voyage 
to China, and could not, therefore, be detained without a heavy 
expense to government Thus the only means left of commu- 
nicating with Port Jackson was by an open boat ; a six-oared 
cutter was accordingly fitted for the purpose, in which Mr. 
Collins (who came out on a sealing speculation) undertook to 
convey the Lieutenant-Governor's despatches. After being nine 
days at sea, and encountering much bad weather, he was picked 
up by the Ocean (which sailed six days after him), within sixty 
miles of Port Jackson, and by her conveyed thither. Governor 
King, from a correct survey of Port Philip, made by Mr. Grimes, 
the Surveyor-General of the Colony, was already convinced of 
its ineligibility for a settlement, and immediately chartered the 
Ocean to remove the establishment either to Port Dalrymple, 
on the north side of Van Diemen's Land, or to the river 
Derwent, on the south coast of the same island, where a small 
party from Port Jackson was already established. 

" As the farther detention of the Calcutta^ after the removal 
was finally concluded on, would greatly retard the principal 
object of her voyage, the conveying a cargo of ship timber to 
England, without any adequate advantage to the colony, she 
quitted Port Philip on the 18th of December, leaving the 
colonists preparing to reimbark on board the Ocean, 

"While the Calcutta remained at Port Philip, besides the 
necessary duties of the ship, the ctcw were actively employed 
in collecting such specimens of ship-timber as the place 
afforded; and about 150 pieces of compass-timber, chiefly 
honeysuckle, were procured. 

Settlement of 1803. 33 

** During the period of uncertainty, between the sailing of the 
boat and the return of advices from Port Jackson, the first- 
lieutenant of the Calcutta, with several other officers, and a 
party of convicts to carry provisions, proceeded by land to 
examine Western Port, and ascertain the correctness of the 
description given of it by the first discoverers, particularly with 
respect to coal, in which it was said to abound. From the camp 
we proceeded across the peninsula to where the ridge of 
Arthur's Seat descends to the sea. This peninsula is formed 
entirely of sand, thrown up into round hillocks, and covered with 
coarse grass in tufts ; the only trees here are the she-oak, which 
are small and open. After passing the ridge of Arthur's Seat 
we proceeded in a direction due east, nearly parallel to the sea- 
shore, of which we sometimes came in sight, until we readied a 
Eaint projecting into the sea, which we supposed to be Cape or 
oint Schank; in this space the land continues to rise, and 
forms in larger and steeper hills, separated by narrow glens, but 
the soil is still very sandy, and no water is to be found even by 
digging in the hollows several feet. After passing Cape Schank, 
the country immediately assumes a quite different appearance ; 
the soil changes to a stiff clay ; the she- oak gives place to the 
blue gum, and two strong runs of water fall into the sea im- 
mediately under the Cape. Here we halted for the night, and 
following the example of the natives, erected a hut, and made a 
fire witinn a few feet of its entrance. This point we supposed 
to be twenty-five miles distant from the camp. At daylight 
we again commenced our march, guided by a pocket-compass, 
and keeping at the distance of between three and five miles 
from the sea, at noon reached Western Port, about two miles 
from its entrance. From Cape Schank, the country is varied 
by hills and valleys, the soil of the former being a stiff clay, 
with very lofty gum-trees, and, of the latter, a rich black mould 
several feet deep, except in a few spots where a black peaty 
earth was found. The grass in these valleys is extremely 
luxuriant; some of them are over-grown with under-wood, 
while others possess scarce a single shrub. In this tract are 
several small runs of water, emptying themselves into the sea 
by deep ravines. 

*' Our examination of Western Port was unavoidably confined 
to the space of a few miles on the western shore ; this was 
principally owing to the man who carried the whole of our 
bread, having absconded soon after quitting the camp, and to 
our being deceived in the extent of the port as well as the 
distance to it ; which we found much greater than we had any 
idea of 

" We were provisioned only for four days, at short allowance ; 
for, trusting to our guns for an addition to our fare, we employed 



Port Phillip Settlement. 

most of the party to cany water, being ignorant whether any 
was to be found in our route. 

" From the entrance of the port for about twelve miles along 
the western shore, there is but one place of commodious landing 
for boats ; the beach being either a black plate rock, or a flat 
sand running out a (]^uarter of a mile ; upon which a long and 
dangerous surf continually breaks. There are three good runs 
of water in this space, which, falling from the hills, form pools 
at their base, and are absorbed by the soft sand of the beach. 
We found these pools covered with teal of a beautiful plumage, 
and, what was to us of much more importance, of a delicious 

" As our track to Western Port had never diverged more than 
five mUes from the sea, it was determmed on returning, to 
endeavour to penetrate through the country in a N. W. 
direction, which we supposed would bring us to Port Philip, 
at about twenty miles' distance from the camp. We accord- 
ingly set off at daylight of the third day, from our night's 
station, which was about five miles from the entrance of 
Western Port, and had scarce walked a quarter of a mile when 
we came* to an immense forest of lofty gum-trees. The 
country here becomes very mountainous : in the valleys, or 
rather chasms between the mountains, small runs of water 
trickle through an almost impenetrable jungle of prickly shrubs, 
bound together by creeping plants. After passing eight of these 
deep chasms in six miles, which was accomplished with infinite 
diflSculty in four hours, we found the country grow still more 
impenetrable, vast fields of scrub as prickly as furze arresting 
our progress every moment. Several of our people who carried 
the water, being unable to bear the fatigue any longer, we were 
obliged to give up our intention, and after a short rest, we 
shaped our course to the S. W. in order to approach the sea, 
where the country becomes open and less hilly. In this direc- 
tion we found the country well-watered, the soil very rich, and 
in many places meadows of from fifty to an hundred acres, 
covered with grass five feet high, and unencumbered with a 
single tree. At sunset we reached the sea at Cape Schank, and 
halting for the night, arrived at the camp in tJie afternoon of 
the next day. 

" Our search for coal, which we were given to understand 
abounded at Western Port, was fruitless ; but our examination 
was too circumscribed and superficial to authorise any positive 
assertion respecting it. 

*' The coast between the ridge of Arthur's Seat and Western 
Port is bound by rocks of black stone, which were found to bum 
to a strong lime. The projecting points of land are high, bluff, 
and perpendicular, presenting a barrier to the sea which breaks 

Settlement of 1803. 35 

against them, even in the finest weather, with violence, denying 
shelter by anchorage, or safety by running on shore for the 
smallest boat. 

" Besides herds of kangaroos, four large wolves (?) were seen 
at Western Port. Very beautiful bronze-winged pigeons with 
black and white cockatoos, and innumerable parrots inhabit 
the woods. 

" Though this excursion added but little to the knowledge of 
the country, it is hoped it will not be entirely devoid of utility. 
In those spots which appeared best adapted to the purpose, 
seeds from Kio Janeiro and the Cape were sown, viz., oranges, 
limes, melons, pumpkins, Indian com, and several kinds of 
garden seeds. 

" But two huts were found in our track, and not a native was 
seen ; indeed the kangaroo seems to reign undisturbed lord of 
the soil, a dominion which by the evacuation of Port Philip, he 
is likely to retain for ages. 

" Several convicts absconded from the camp soon after their 
landing, led away by the most delusive ideas of reaching Port 
Jackson, or getting on board some whaler, which they ignorantly 
believed occasionally touched on this coast ; some of them were 
brought back by parties sent after them, and others returned 
voluntarily, when nearly famished with hunger. Two only of 
these unfortunate beings were never heard of after leaving the 
camp, one of these was George Lee, a character well known to 
several persons of respectability in England." 

The Governor's Orders, Oenercd and Garrison, are mainly 
directed to questions of discipline, afifecting both the convicts 
and the marines. The weekly ration given out to the civil and 
military, as well as the free settlers allowed to accompany the 
party, was the following : Beef (salt), 7 lbs. ; pork (salt), 4 lbs. ; 
biscuits, 7 lbs.; flour, 1 lb.; sugar, 6 oz. Women had two* 
thirds. The marines got half a pint of spirits a day. The 
rations of the prisoners are not there mentioned. 

The Sunday of October 23, 1803, was to be properly observed ; 
the Order of Sullivan Bay, 22nd October, being : — 

" The settlers and convicts will assemble to-morrow morning 
in front of the marine encampment, at eleven o'clock, for the 
purpose of attending Divine Service, to return thanks for our 
prosperous voyage and safe arrival in this harbour. The 
convicts will attend as clean as their present situation will 
admit. The detachment will parade to-morrow morning at 
eleven o'clock, in front of their encampment, for the purpose 
of attending divine service." 

D 2 

36 Port Phillip Settlement. 

The first shopkeeper is noticed in the Order of 29th October. 
'' John Blinkworth, a settler, has permission to sell a few articles 
of wearing apparel which he brought from England." Another 
name comes forward, 8th November: "Mr. Hartley having 
submitted a list of articles which he has for sale, with their 
prices, to the Lieutenant-Governor, he has given him license 
to sell them, and has caused the list to be made public on the 
order board." TraflSc in spirits, however, caused trouble even 
at this settlement, as the Order of December 1st will show : — 

'* The Lieutenant-Governor, expecting the arrival of ships in 
this harbour, and being desirous of preventing as much as 
possible the clandestine introduction of spirits into the settle- 
ment, and the irregularities which must ensue if once such an 
evil is admitted, directs that there shall in future be no other 
landing-place than the one opposite the eastern angle of the 
battery in Sullivan Bay for boats belonging to ships or vessels 
of any description, except when on business of particular 
emergency it should be absolutely necessary for them to have 
communication with the settlement, and which could not be 
effected at the established landing ; they may in such case be 
permitted to go round to the adjoining bay, where the sentinel 
will suffer them to land." 

The convicts were well looked after in Otneral Orders. The 
drum beat when working hours began, and at beat of taptoo 
at nine p.m. all were to be within quarters for bed. They 
were warned "not to go into the water without the utmost 
precaution," — "this bay and the harbour in general being 
unfortunately full of voracious sharks and sting-rajrs." They 
were " distributed into gangs under superintendents and over- 
seers, who are to be accountable for their labour." The time 
for toil was from sunrise to noon, except half an hour for 
breakfast, and then from one till sunset. They are wame<i 
against the practice of gambling, " a crime so big in itself with 
their certain -ruin." They are graciously reminded, November 
3rd of their privileges, the Order being : — 

•' The commissary will, on Saturday next, serve to each male 
convict one wooden bowl, one platter, and one spoon. As they 
cannot but be sensible that Government has done everything 
that can make their situation comfortable, the Lieutenant- 
Governor trusts they will take the greatest care of what is 
issued to them from time to time for that purpose." Their 
wives had bowl, platter, and spoon on November 30th. 

Settlement of 1803. 37 

' Tbey had to attend Sunday service at eleven ; *' the overseers 
will muster them and see that they are decently dressed/' A 
change in labour hours was made November 10th. " A watch- 
bell being erected, it will ring at the following hours, viz. : at 
six o'clock in the morning, when the convicts will turn out for 
work ; at eight, when they will leave off for half an hour; at 
twelve, when they will again leave off work ; at one, when they 
will again return to work ; again at four ; and at seven, when 
they will leave off work." But two days after came this Order : 
" In consideration of the extreme heat of the weather, the 
Lieutenant-Governor appoints the following as the hours of 
labour until further orders : From five in the morning, at which 
time the bell will ring, until eight o'clock ; from half-past eight 
until twelve ; and from two until seven." 

Some irregularity following the employment of convicts after 
hours. Order 27th November says : '* The permission given to the 
sawyers to work in their own time for individuals is withdrawn." 
Certain married convicts, having allowed some disorders in the 
huts they were permitted to erect outside the encampment, 
were ordered, December 27th, to have them pulled down, and 
they themselves were classed to tents again. To expedite 
removal from Port Phillip this was the Order of December 31st : 
" The Lieutenant-Governor is under the necessity of directing 
that the business of loading the Ocean be not suspended until 
that is completed. The people will therefore work the re- 
mainder of this day and Sunday." But the command for 
December 8th was as follows: — 

"The provisions being issued on Tuesdays and Saturdays, 
the people will work on those days during the following hours, 
viz. : — On the Tuesday from five in the morning till eleven, and 
from two until sunset. And on the Saturday fit)m five in 
the morning until eleven, from which hour they will not be 
employed for the public again until Monday morning. The 
Lieut.-Govemor, observing that not more than half the con- 
victs attended the performance of Divine Service last Sunday, 
thinks it necessary to inform them that he expects the attend- 
ance of every one who is able to appear ; and that if they 
neglect this necessary duty, he shall direct the commissary to 
put those who shall absent themselves upon two-thirds allowance 
provisions for one month." 

The military occupied more of the time and thoughts of the 

38 Port Phillip Settlement. 

Lieut.-Qovemor than added to his comfort, though the Marines 
of Port Phillip never gave such cause of uneasiness to the 
Governor as the New South Wales Corps occasioned in Sydney. 
The Garrison Order of October 18th, at Sullivan Bay, details 
the duties :— 

"The Lieut.-Colonel (Collins), on taking command of the 
detachment of Royal Marines landed at Port Phillip, entertains 
a hope that they will all feel a just sense of the honourable 
situation in which they are placed. They have been selected 
by their sovereign to compose the garrison for the protection 
of this infant settlement. He trusts this will stimulate them to 
use their best exertions, and enable the Lieut.-Colonel to report 
to the Secretary of State that such a trust has not been un- 
worthily placed in them. He hopes they all know that obedience 
to orders, sobriety, and cleanliness form the essential points in 
the character of a good soldier. While he observes that these 
are attended to, he shall feel a pride in having them under his 
command, and shall hold it his duty, by eveiy means in his 
power, to render their situation comfortable. He is unwilling 
to mention the word punishment, but it is necessary they should 
know his firm determination to have the strictest obedience paid 
to such orders as he may think proper to give from time to 
time for their regulation, and trusts that when at a future 
period this shall be joined by other detachments of their brave 
comrades, he shall be able with pleasure to hold up this small 
band as an example worthy of their imitation." 

It was not long, however, before a serjeant committed himself. 
Then we read, Nov. 21st : — " The commanding oflScer is con- 
cerned to be under the necessity of establishing the following 
drill for the non-commissioned officers." Worse appears the 
next day : — " The commanding officer is surprised to observe 
the unsteady appearance of the men at the evening parade. 
This can only proceed from their determination to evade tbo 
regulations which he adopted in the hope of preventing this 
unsoldierlike appearance that he complains of > in them, and 
which, if persisted in, will compel him not to increase the 
quantity of water, but to reduce the quantity of spirits which 
is at present allowed them." 

Again, on Nov. 30th, we have this Oan^son Order : — " The 
commanding officer hopes that no one of the detachments under 
his command, but such an unsoldierlike character as Thomas 
Bodgeman, would be concerned in any dealings or transactions 
with the convicts. They must perceive the bad consequences 
that ever must and will attend such disgraceful conduct, and of 
which he trusts none of them will ever be guilty." The drink 
question comes up on December 27th : — 

Settlement of 1803. - 39 

" The commanding officer is concerned to observe the shameful 
conduct of several of the soldiers of the detachment. Drunken- 
ness is a crime that he never will pass over, and to prevent as 
&r as in him lies their disgracing themselves, and the royal and 
honourable corps to which they belong, by incurring the censure 
of courts-martial, he directs that in future their allowance of 
watered spirits shall not be taken to their tents, but drunk at 
the place where it is mixed, in the presence of the officer of the 
day. If this regulation shall be found insufficient, he assures 
them that the first man who is found guilty of drunkenness 
by a court-martial shall never again receive the allowance of 

The health of the settlement was generally good. But the 
surgeon was required to send names of sick convicts to. the 
commissary, who would issue the following ration : — Beef, 3 J 
lbs. ; or pork, 2 lbs. ; biscuit, 7 lbs. ; flour, 1 lb. No spirits 
were to be di*awn by the sick military. It was thoughtful 
kindness to allow the prisoners a pound of raisins each that 
they might enjoy a Christmas plum-pudding. We read of no 
scenes of famine at Port Phillip like those which prevailed so 
long in Sydney. The clothing was issued for six months* wear, 
and consisted of one jacket, one waistcoat, one pair duck 
trousers, one pair breeches, two check suits, one pair shoes, 
one hat. The shoe question gave some trouble to the Governor, 
who continually urged care in the use of clothing. 

Orders as to personal cleanliness were frequently issued; 
though the diinking water, furnished by casks sunk in the 
sands by the shore, was jealously guarded by sentinels. They 
who allowed their tents to get into a dirty state were liable to 
be left without shelter. It is interesting to read in the Order 
of October 26th :— 

"The comfort and appearance of the military depending 
much on their cleanliness, the Right Honourable the Lords 
Commissioners of the Admiralty were pleased to admit a certain 
number of women to accompany their husbands on the present 
expedition, for the purpose of contributing to that end, by 
washing for the detachment. The commanding officer therefore 
directs and appoints the following women to be so employed, 
and in the following manner, namely: — The wife of William 
Bean, pte., to wash for fifteen persons; the wife of George 
Carley, pte., to wash for fifteen persons; the wife of. James 
Spooner, to wash for fourteen persons ; and as an ample supply 

40 PoKT Phillip Settlement. 

of neces^aiies has been sent out with the detachment, he will 
not admit of any excuse for their appearing in a dirtj 
unsoldierlike manner." 

It seems odd the Lieui-Govemor did not have his 
Commission publicly read, with due military honours, till 
November 16th. 

Robberies, in this community of thieves, were comparatively 
few. On December 26th public notice is given of the attack on 
the Commissary's tent, when ''the sick having been at the 
same time meanly plundered of their provisions in their -tents," 
the prisoners are stopped cray-fishing at night, and all persons 
are directed to keep a good look out for their provisions, " as no 
loss so occa,sioned can in future be made good from the Stores." 
A good feeling prompted Colonel Collins to restrain other 
robbing ; as " many of the people, not adverting to the con- 
sequences, are daily bringing birds' nests into the encampment, 
containing either eggs, or young unfledged birds. He thinks it 
necessary to prohibit a practice at once so cruel and destruc- 
tive. Any person found offending against this Order will be 

Governor Collins, in the Garrismi Orders, has sevei-al references 
to the runaways or deserters among the convicts : — 

" 18th October. — The sentinels have orders to stop all prisoners 
found out of their tents after nine o'clock at night, and bring 
them to the quarter guard. 

" 10^^ November, 1803. — The Lieut.-Govemor is concerned to 
learn that six men have been so blind to their own welfare as 
to absent themselves from the settlement, and proceed in the 
desperate undertaking of travelling round to Port Jackson. If 
such is actually the motive of their absenting themselves, they 
must be inevitably lost in the attempt, and nothing more will 
be ever heard of them, for independent of the risk they run of 
being killed by the natives, it is impossible for them with any 
quantity of provisions they could carry, to endure the &tigue of 
penetrating a thousand miles through the woods of this country, 
for such would be the distance, which by rounding the heads of 
the different harbours that present themselves in their route, 
they would have to travel. Although caution to them is now 
useless, yet it may not prove so to those who remain. He, 
therefore, takes this opportunity of informing them, that while 
admitting the probability of their succeeding and reaching Port 
Jackson alive, they would instantly be apprehended, and sent 

Settlement of 1803. 41 

back to this settlement by the Qovemor, here to meet the 
pumshment justly due to their rashness and o£fenoe/' 

" 21«^ November. — The lieut-Qovemor hopes that the pun- 
ishment inflicted on Thursday last on the five delinquents who 
had absconded will have its weight with all those who witnessed 
it. If any should still intend to quit the settlement in the 
same manner, he would call to their observation the wretched 
appearance of Hangan and his two associates, who retumidd to 
their duty on Friday night, by whose account they will find 
that when engaged in a perilous undertaking of that nature 
they cannot trust even one another, these people all declaring 
that while they were sent to procure water ior the whole party, 
those who remained took that opportunity of absconding with 
the provisions which they had left in their care, perfectly 
indifiFerent as to what might prove their fate. Such treachery 
must excite the honest indignation of every well-disposed mind, 
and the Lieut.-Oovemor thinks that alone should be sufiBcient 
to deter others from associating in so rash and hazardous an 

" Slst December. — We cannot but pity the delusion which 
some of the prisoners labour under, in thinking that they can 
exist when deprived of the assistance of government. Their 
madness will be manifest to themselves when they shall feel, 
too late, that they have wrought their own ruin. After those 
who have absconded he shall make no further search, certain 
that they must soon return or perish by famine. 

" 2Qth January y 1804. — The Lieut. -Governor hopes the 
return of Daniel MacAllenon will have convinced the prisoners 
of the misery that must ever attend those who are mad enough 
to abscond firom the settlement. To warn them from making 
an attempt of a similar nature they are informed that, although 
this man left his companions on the fifth day after their 
departure hence they all began to feel the effects of their 
imprudence, and more of them would have returned had they 
not dreaded the punishment which they were conscious they 
deserved. Their provisions were nearly expended, and they 
had no resources. They lived in constant dread of the natives, 
by whose hands it was more than probable they have by this 
time perished, or if this should not have happened, how is it 
possible that strong, hardy men, who were always able to 
consume more than the liberal allowance of provisions which is 
issued to them, can exist in a country which nowhere affords a 
supply to the traveller. The Lieut.-Govemor can by no means 
account for this strange desertion of the people ; were they ill- 
treated, scantily fed, badly clothed, or wrought beyond their 
ability he should attribute it to these causes, but as the reverse 
is the case, he is at a loss to discover the motive. He thinks it 

42 Port Phillip Settlement. 

necessary to advise them not to harbour or supply with their 
provisions any people who may quit the settlement, as it is his 
fixed detennination to punish them with greater severity than 
he would the infatuated wretches themselves. He is concerned 
that the several prisoners who are now absent must be left to 
perish, as, by MacAllenon's account, they are beyond the 
reach of every effort he might make to recall them to their 

The depatches from Colonel Collins to his superior, the 
Governor of New South Wales, announcing his arrival, contain 
interesting particulars of the settlement. 

''Head-Quarters, Gavp at Sullivan's Bay, 

" Port Phillip, November 5lh, 1803. 

*' Sir, — I beg leave to acquaint your Excellency that having 
sailed from Spithead in His Majesty's ship Calcutta, on the 24th 
of April last, charged with the Establishing a Settlement in this 
Harbour, pursuant to a Recommendation from you to that 
effect, I arrived here on the 9th ult., having on my way hither 
touched at Teneriffe, Rio de Janeiro, and Simon's Bay, at which 
last place I purchased a small quantity of Stock and Seed 
grain for the intended colony. 

" The Calcutta is commanded by Captain Daniel Woodriff, who 
having been once before in New South Wales, was selected by 
Government as a fit person to be employed in the present 
expedition; and I feel much pleasure in having it in my power 
in this early stage of my communication with your Excellency 
to bear Testimony to the Propriety of their selection. 

"We were accompanied by the crew of a storeship richly 
freighted, such has been the liberality of Government, with an 
ample supply of every article that could be suggested as likely 
to be of advantage to an undertaking of the success of which 
Government has entertained the most sanguine hopes. From 
this ship being a duU sailer, we parted company, in some very 
bad weather, a short time before we made the island of Tristan 
da Cunha, but had the satisfaction of finding that she had 
anchored here, on the 7th of October, only two days before us, 
by which she had escaped a heavy gale of wind which we met 
with on the 8th when off King Island. 

" I have brought in with me 299 male convicts, 16 married 
women, a few settlers, and a small detachment, as per margin,^ 
from the Royal Marines, under my command ; with a complete 
civil staff, of which the Judge Advocate alone is absent, but I 
have my Lord Hobart's assurance he shall be sent out by the 
first ship that sails after me. 

1 8 Sabalterns, 3 sergeants, 3 corporals, 2 dmmmers, 89 privates. 

Settlement of 1803. 43 

" From Mr. Mertho, who has been examining some part of the 
Bay, I received the firat unfavourable impression of it, which I 
am truly concerned to observe a more minute survey thereof haa 
only tended to strengthen. 

" Anxious to discover a place possessing the advantages of 
fresh water, timber for building, soil for agricultural pursuits, 
whereon I could land my people, I determined to lose no time 
in examining the Bay. Captsan Woodriff and myself accordingly 
set off on the morning after our arrival, and landed at the 
watering place, linder the High Land, on the Eastern side of the 
Bay. Here we found fresh water, and enough for my Purposes, 
but a soil of sand only, the access to both of which was barred 
by water so shoal that no loaded boat could approach within 
half a mile, and with the wind at West not at all. Upon ascend- 
ing the Hill we found sand on its summit, and its sides thinly 
clad with miserable stunted Timber. 

" The two following days were spent in an equally unsuccessful 
Examination of the Western or Lagoon side of the Bay. Here 
we found the soil somewhat better, but entirely destitute of that 
great Essential, fresh water. 

" Having received the most positive orders to discharge the 
Store ship without any delay, I felt myself no longer at Uberty 
to continue my personal Researches after a proper Place ; and 
on Thursday, the 13th (the 4th day of my arrival) I went on 
shore with Captain WoodriflF, to a Bay on the East side, where very 
good fresh water had been obtained, by sinking casks near the 
margin of the Sea Shore. In the Bay adjoining to this, I found 
the land of about five acres, afler which I instantly determined 
to land my People, Stores, and Provisions, and from which I 
have now the Honour of reporting my Proceedings to your 

"That every further Information respecting this capacious 
Harbour should forthwith be obtained, Captain WoodrifiF de- 
spatched his first officer. Lieutenant Tuckey, accompanied by 
Mr. Harris, the Deputy Surveyor of the Settlement, and a Mr. 
Collins, a settler (formerly a Master in the Navy) in the 
Calcutta's Launch, and attended by a boat belonging to me, 
on a Survey of the Harbour. Upon this business they were 
absent nine days, and I have now the honour to inclose a Copy 
of the Heport made to me, for your Information, by which I 
think it will appear, that having before me but a choice of diffi- 
culties, I could not be anywhere better placed than I am, and 
where I shall wait until Honoured with your Excellency's 
Commands for my future Proceedings. 

"The soil from Arthur's Seat to Point Calcutta, at the 
entrance to the Harbour, is light and mixed considerably with 
Sand ; even the few Patches of black vegetable mould which 

44 Port Phillip Settlement. - 

here and there have been met with abound therewith. I have 
nevertheless opened two acres of ground for a garden, and am 

freparing five acres for Indian Com; of the success of the latter 
do not entertain much hope, but I find in it some employment 
for my People. They, I am happy to say, conduct themselves 
most perfectly to my satiBfaction, wading the whole day long up 
to their middles in water with the utmost cheerAilness to 
discharge the Boats as they come in. 

" The Bread, Flour, and Salt Provisions for their support, I 
have stowed in large piles in the open air, while the Bale goods. 
Wine, Spirits, and other articles of value, are deposited under 
three large Elaboratory Tents, which I have guarded aa well as 
my small military force will allow. From the scantiness of this 
I have been constrained to request Captain Woodriff to land the 
Non-Commissioned officers and 10 Privates, from the Detach- 
ment of Royal Marines belonging to His Majesty's Ship under 
his Command to be lent for the duties of this Garrison during 
his stay here ; but as the same necessity for this Assistance will 
exist after her departure, I must submit to your Excellency 
whether it would not be expedient to increase my force by a 
small Party from the troops under your Command at Port 
Jackaon; as this must in a great measure depend upon what 
may be your determination respecting my future Proceedings, I 
shall add nothing frirther on the subject, but that were I to 
settle in the upper part of the Harbour, which is full of Natives, 
I should require four times the force I have now, to guard not 
only the convicts, but perhaps myself, from their attacks. 

"I cannot but suppose that all the disadvantages of Port 
Phillip are as well known to your Excellency as they are to 
myself at this moment. If they are, you will have anticipated 
this Report, but it may not have entered into your contemplation, 
that there are at this moment between three and four hundred 
People sitting down cheerfrilly with no other or more certain 
supply of water than what is filtered daily through the per- 
forated sides of Six or Eight Casks, which are sunk in the Sand. 
The water certainly is good, at least my Sick List does not indi- 
cate that it is otherwise. How long the supply may last, or how 
far it is calculated to meet a continuation of the dry weather 
we have hitherto experienced. Time alone can determine; at 
present the casks regularly fill as they are emptied. I shall sink 
a well as soon as the hurry of clearing the Store Ship is over ; 
that Labour has gone on rapidly, and she was discharged from 
Qovemment employ on the 4th instant. The Calcutta's Boats 
have given considerable assistance in expediting this business, 
from the nature of which I fear they must have suffered con- 
siderably,, but Captain Woodriff has most diligently furnished 
me with all the aid in his Power. 

Settlement of 1803. 45 

" I inclose a return of the convicts, classed according to their 
leading trades and occupations, by which your Excellency will 
be able to form an idea of the aid I am likely to derive from 
them. Among them are certainlv some who will be exceedingly 
useful to me, but I am concemea to state there are many who 
will be exceedingly useless. I shall, however, endeavour to get 
from them all the labour I possibly can, there being much to be 
done to get my Stores and them under a more durable covering 
than the Canvass we are at present under, before the winter 
season sets in, if it should appear expedient to your Excellency 
that I am to remain here until that Period. I am well aware 
that a Removal hence must be attended with much difficulty 
and loss, but upon every possible view of my situation, I do not 
see that any advantage could be thereby attained, nor by staying 
here I can at all answer the intentions of Government in sending 
hither a Colonial EstabHshment. The Bay itself, when viewed 
in a commercial light, is wholly unfit for such Purpose, being 
situated in a deep and dangerous Bight between Cape Albany 
Otway and Point Schanck, to enter which must ever require a 
well-manned and well-formed ship, a leading wind, and a certain 
Time of Tide, for the Ebb runs out at the rapid Rate of from 
five to seven Knots an hour, as was experienced by the Store 
Ship. The Calcutta had fortunately a fair wind, and the Tide of 
Flood when she came in, and she experienced a very great in- 
draught, which had brought her during the night much nearer 
than she expected. With a gale of wind upon the coast, and 
well in between the two above-mentioned Points, a ship would 
be in imminent risk and danger. 

" There is (if alive) among the Convicts under your Govern- 
ment a man of the name of John Macguire. He was formerly 
a Sergeant in the Portsmouth Division of Royal Marines, and 
conducted himself during the time of the Mutiny in the Fleet 
with so much resolution and loyalty, that I believe when he 
was tried on a capital charge, his Life was saved in consequence 
of this character being given him firom his officers. In this man 
I think I could place much dependence, and if he can be spared, 
should wish to have him with me as an overseer. If your 
Excellency has no better employment for him, I should feel 
myself obliged by your directing his being sent hither by the 
first conveyance. 

" If James Bloodworth is still in the Settlement, and his own 
master, I would enter into m engagment to employ him for a 
twelvemonth certain. If he is a Servant of the Crown, your 
Excellency can direct his attention. I need not point out how 
extremely usefiil he may be to me, so conversant as he is, not 
only in constructing, but in planning the several Buildings that 
I must very shortly have in hand. I have not any one that I 

46 PoKT Phillip Settlement. 

could place, with so much satisfaction to myself, in the direction 
of the carpenters, sawyers, bricklayers, &c., as this Person, and 
therefore hope he may be permitted to attend me. If a few 
thousand bncks could be sent at the same Time, I could find 
immediate use for them. 

" As there are many free People at present at Sydney, there 
may perhaps be some who may be desirous of visiting Port 
Phillip ; but as such could only prove extremely troublesome to 
me at present, will you forgive my requesting that none may be 
suffered at any time to come hither, but such as I may have 
occasion to point out. 

" Upon my arrival at Rio de Janiero, I found lying there the 
Britannia, a South Sea Whaler, commanded by Mr. Quested, 
who formerly, I think, took out the Speedy to New South 
Wales. Finding that I was proceeding to this country, Mr. 
Quested offered to deliver Letters for your ExceUency to the 
Commanding Officer of Norfolk Island to be forwarded thence 
to Port Jackson. I availed myself of the offer, and accordingly 
sent a Letter to be addressed to your Excellency on board the 
Britannia on the morning of her departure for Rio, which was 
on the 5th of July last. I therein informed you of the pro- 
bability of my reaching the Place of my destination in all the 
last month, and hoped if you received my Letter in time, that 
some vessel might be despatched to meet the Calcutta here or 
in the Straits. Nothing having come in since my arrival, now 
nearly a month, I conclude that Mr. Quested has been delayed 
upon his voyage, and have therefore, being extremely desirous 
that you should, as speedily as possible, be informed thereof, 
determined to prepare a very fine six-oared cutter, belonging to 
the Settlement, and send her forthwith to Port Jackson. 

" This letter will (I hope) be delivered to your Excellency 
by a Mr. Collins who came to this Country on a fishing Specula* 
tion. He accompanied Captain Woodriff and myself in the 
examination which we made of the harbour, and was afterwards 
the associate with Captain Tuckey in the more accurate survey, 
which was made by that Officer of the whole of this extensive 
Bay. His zeal for the good of His Majesty's Service is equal 
with his abilities to promote it, and having offered his services 
to convey this Information to your Excellency, I am happy in 
the opportunity of introducing him to your Excellency's Notice, 
convinced that the service which he will have rendered, as well 
as his own merit, will give him some claim thereto. 

" I have bad the boat prepared under his direction, and he 
seems confident of her successfully making this short Voyage. 
I cannot but own that I shall feel no small degree of anxiety 
until I can be informed of the event of it, which I trust your 
ExceUency will gratify me with as speedily as it may be in 

Settlement of 1803. 47 

your Power. The Despatches and Private Letters, which I am 
honoured with the charge of for your Excellency, I do not send 
by this conveyance, which I trust you will deem with me rather 
too precarious, but they shall be forwarded with many others for 
various Persons under your Government, by the first safe con- 
veyance which may oflFer. 

*' In the Preparations which have been necessarily made on 
this occasion, we have been materially assisted by Captain 
Woodriff, who has most readily furnished me with such articles 
as the Public Stores could not supply^ and could be spared from 
the ship. 

" I have instructed Mr. Collins to follow such directions for 
his return to me with the Cutter and her Crew, as you may 
think fit to give him. He and the People are victualled for one 
Month. Should his stay be protracted beyond that Period, I 
presume you will direct the Commissary to supply him with 
whatever may be necessary. 

" The store ship being cleared, Captain WoodriflF is sending on 
shore such articles of stores and provisions as were put on board 
the Calcutta for the use of this settlement. A few days will 
complete the delivery, when that oflBcer would be left to proceed 
to Port Jackson, pursuant to his orders to that effect, but I have 
officially requested him to remain here until I shall have heard 
from your Excellency, representing to him how absolutely 
necessary the appearance of a King's Ship is to me in my 
present situation ; I hope you will do me the honour to coincide 
with me in this opinion, and approve of my application to 
Captain Woodriff for this purpose. 

" I have the honour to be, &c." 

His instructions from Lord Hobart, February 7th, 1803, gave 
him much freedom : — 

"Although Port Phillip has been pointed out as the place 
judged the most convenient and proper for fixing the first 
Settlement of your Establishment in Bass's Straits, nevertheless 
you are not positively restricted from giving the preference to 
any other part of the said southern coast of New South Wales, 
or any of the islands in Bass's Straits which, upon communica- 
tion with the Governor of New South Wales, and with his 
concurrence and approbation, you may have well grounded 
reasons to consider as more advantageously situated for that 

The Chaplain, the Rev. R. Knopwood, has furnished, in his 
diary, other particulars of life in the settlement. Though M.A. 
of an English University, and sufficiently learned in Latin, the 


Port Phillip Settlement. 

good man's education in EngHsh had been neglected, for the 
period demanded no proficiency in the mother tongue as a test 
of learning. The defect in the art of spelling was supplemented 
by a curious carelessness of pen. Though not exposing all his 
weaknesses in the journal, he does not conceal his warm attach- 
ment to the pipe, nor indifference to the glass. Tradition gives 
him the credit of being a warm admirer of the gentler sex, 
though never venturing into the bonds of matrimony. 

The journal commenced April 24th, the time of sailing from 
Portsmouth. It notes his having "landed on the very place 
where Lord Nelson lost his arm," at Teneriffe. The English 
colours taken on that occasion were preserved in the Church. 
An officer of the Calcutta told the people it was right to take 
such care of them, as " Lord Nelson very likely would call for 
them again soon." On crossing the Line, " the day was con- 
ducted with much myrth." At Rio the party of officers enjoyed 
themselves, and the chaplain found that ''the eclesiastics in 
general could converse in Latin " though " they pronounce it 
very differently to the English pronunciation." He tells us — 
"During our stay the wifes of the convicts were allowed to 
take clothes to wash with them on the island of Enchados." 

The ladies, as usual, attracted attention. "Their features 
were expressive ; the eyes dark and lively ; the hair was dark^ 
this they mostly wore with powder, strained to a high point 
before, and tied in several folds behind." But the charm of 
Rio was the Convent D. Ajuda, which " received as pensioners, 
or boarders, the young ladies having lost their parents, who 
were allowed to remain, conforming to the rules of the convent, 
until married, or otherwise provided for by their friends." It 
was this convent, writes the reverend gentleman, " I frequently 
visited, where I conversed with a very beautiful young lady 
named Antonia Januaria. Her polite attention I ^hall not easily 
forget, having received great friendship from her, and should I 
ever return there again shall be happy to see her." On Sunday 
he wrote : — ** At 9 I went on shore, and see High Mass performed 
at the Monastary D. Fransiscans, and I visited the convent 
D. Ajuda and see the charming girl Antonia. In the eve a 
large party of officers and self went to the play house, and see 
the Poor Soldier performed ; the Vice Roy was there attended 
by his aidecongs." That day, however, he visited " the Carmelite 

Settlement of 1803. 49 

and many chappels," as well as " see the Negros dansing." The 
Sunday after this they left Rio, and the chaplain records his 
grief in one line by itself — 

" I visited D. Ajuda for the last time." 

They called inat Simon's Bay, South Africa, and " received 
25 butts of water." On his hunting excursion, he notes : — " We 
see the print of a tigers paw very fresh, and of wolfes before 
us. I killed a brace of partriges." At sea again, from the Cape^ 
he indulged in the following reflections : — 

" Thursday, 25 (August). On our departure from the Cape 
it was naturally for us to indulge at this moment a melancholy 
reflection which obtruded itself upon the minds of those, who, 
we settlers at P* Philip. The land behind us was the abode 
of a civilized people, that before us was the residence of savages. 
When, if ever, we might again enjoy the commerce of the world 
was doubtful and uncertain. The refreshments and the pleasures 
of which we had so liberally partaken at the Cape and Simon*s 
Bay were to be exchanged for coarse fare and hard labour at 
P* Philip, and we may truly say all communication with 
&milies and friends now cut off*, we are leaving the world behind 
us to enter on a state unknown." 

The Calcutta reached Port Phillip on Sunday, 9th of October, 
The chaplain notes : ** At 15 past 10 we anchored with the best 
bower in 6 fathoms; found laying here the Ocean transport, 
which arrived on Friday the 7 of October." He always called 
Nepean peninsula the island. On the first day, he added, 
" Capt. Woodriff and Lieut. Governor Collins went on shore on 
the south side of the island. At 6 they returned. Could not 
find any fr^sh water. They reported the soil te be very bad, 
and the trees small, unfit for use of H.M. Navy." Going on 
shore the next day, he observed that " the land was very bad, 
light soil." — "Along the shore we returned by no means 
satisfied with the country. The Captain and Governor went on 
shore and found no water that was good, but a small run next 
Arther*s Seat, the east side of the Bay." He had the honour 
of killing the first black swan. 

On the 14th the Master having reported good anchorage three 
or four miles further te the eastward, tents were pitehed there. 
By putting down casks in the sand water was obtained through 
the percolation. " We walked," says he, " to the watering place. 
The water tlirough the casks was good." He adds, " We see 


50 Port Phillip Settlkment. 

the kangaroos and some parretts, but could not kill any." 1. \ 
vessel was moored a mile and a quarter off shore, " the camp 
bearing S.E. i S., the entrance of the port west, and Seals Beach 
open, andArthers Seat E J N." On Sunday 16th Mr. Tuckey 
and others started off "to survey the Bay from the camp 
liorthward, if possible to assertain a more eligable situation for 
forming a settlement." The prisoners were landed that day. 
His " marque" was ready on the 19th, but on the 21st he went 
on board to tea and sleep. 

We omit all reference to exploration, as the full text of 
Lieutenant Tuckey is given elsewhere. The people were put 
into gangs for work on October 24th. The day before, being 
Sunday, " the whole of the camp assembled, and the Governor, 
at the head of the Royal Marines, with oflBcers, to hear divine 
service which was performed in the square of the Parade 
before all hands." There had been too much bustle to observe 
the day the two previous Sundays. Tuesday was described as 
" exceeding hot." The day after, the surgeon " came on shore 
to visit me, and Captain WoodrifF sent me a bottle of port." A 
very dreadful tempest is chronicled the last day of October, 
followed on November Ist with " the thermometer 93 at 12 and 
down to 50 in the eve." Sunday, 6th, the day was too un- 
comfortable to " do duty." So the goodman walked with the 
Governor to see his new garden ; and then " I diud with the 
Governor of Pt. Phillip, and a very pleasant day we had ; all 
the oflScers on board were very merry." The convicts were, 
perhaps, merry at not being summoned to service that day. 

The first letters were sent oflF that Sunday by boat, in charge 
of Mr. Collins, the Colonel's cousin, for Port Jackson, though 
the violence of the surf at the Heads prevented the party 
getting away till Thursday. The married men were now sent 
to build houses for themselves, and "the soldiers wifes were 
permitted to build in the same manner." The first runaways 
are mentioned November 9th, the day when the battery was 
commenced. The only record of Sunday, 13th, is his staying 
on board the Ocean, and Lieutenant Pateshall killing a kangaroo. 
He may have felt worn after the Saturday's dinner on board, 
and the Saturday's service, thus mentioned : — 

"At 11 all the officers, military and civil, attended, with the 
Governor and Captain Woodriff, to the parade, and from thence 

Settlement of 1803. 51 

all the convicts at divine service. The sermon preached was to 
return Almighty God thanks for our safe arrival here." 

A fall description is given of the first kangaroo killed and 
eaten, "and very excellent it was." The chaplain read the 
commission of the Lieutenant-Governor on fiiU parade on the 
17th of November. On that day, too, the Ocean, Captain 
Merthew, as Mr. Knopwood calls him, went oflF to Port Jackson, 
arriving there a week after. The natives, to the number of 
400, gave some trouble on the 19th, obliging the wood party 
to retreat. That day's diary says: "This morn I sewd cou- 
cumbers and onion seeds, and melons." He notes the arrival 
of Mr. M'CoUough, after a walk of forty to fifty miles from the 
fresh- water river (the Tarra). He went, on the 28th, with 
the Calcrdta to the Yarra. 

December notices are frequent as to stormy winds and high 
temperature. On the 9th, '*Mr. Harris, surveyor, with three 
soldiers, armd, and their servants, set off for Western Port" 
Saturday, " I set my white hen on twenty-one egg this mom." 
In another place we read of his brown hen having seven 
"chickings/* The Ocean returned on the 12th with despatches 
from Sydney, bringing back the crew of Mr. Collins's boat. 
Then it was they heard that a settlement had bsen made on 
the Derwent, in Van Diemen's Land. The accounts were 
evidently favourable, disposing those at Port Phillip to wish 
they were on the beautiful island. The Calcutta set off for 
Port Jackson on Sunday, the 18th, when ** The Lieutenant- 
Governor is under the necessity of directing that the people 
who are employed in the preparations which are carrying on 
for removing the settlement do continue to work to-day, by 
which order divine service will not be performed." 

The weather was extremely cold on the following Thursday, 
when the people were "employed at the getty." The first 
baptism is recorded "Sunday, Xmas Day, 25. — ^At 11, civil, 
military, setlers, and convicts, with the Governor, attended 
divine service; Xmas sermon After service I publickly baptized 
Sarjent Thorn's child. The Governor, Lieutenant Johnson, Mrs. 
Powers, and Mrs. Whitehead stood for the child, the first bom 
in the colony (25th). The Gov. namd it Hobert." The name 
was William James Hobart Thome. The first marriage tojk 

£ 2 

62 Port Phillip Settlement. 

place on November 28th, between Hannah Harvey, free woman, 
and Richard Garratt, prisoner. Buckley is named among the 
deserters from the camp the last day of 1803. New Year's 
Day, although Sunday, was kept for work, loading the Ocean 
txansport. " At 4, Mr. Janson and self dind with the Governor, 
and had ducks and green peas, with fresh beans." Sterile 
desert, as some styled it. Port Phillip grew capital vegetables, - 
and, according to Mr. Hopley, it was famous for garden flowers. 

The police functions were so ill performed by the military 
that it was deemed necessary to form a Protective Association, 
under the authority of the Governor, January 1, 1804. But 
the diary declares, " This association is to take place on Monday, 
the 2nd of January, 1804." The officers were the Rev. Mr. 
Knopwood, and Messrs. Janson, Bowden, Humphrey, Harris, 
Fosbrook, and Hopley, of the civil department. The subordi- 
nates of the night watch were Mr, John Ingle, W. T. Stocker, 
A. Whitehead, J. Boothman, M. Power, J. Groves, and F. 
Shipman. Six other names follow, belonging to the military 
among prisoners, called "the 6 soldiers mutiners from 
Giberalter." As this was a most important movement, the 
chaplain quotes the official account: — 

" A plan of an association of the civil officers of the settle- 
ment having been submitted by them to the Lieut. -Governor, 
he is pleased to approve thereof, and to authorise them, which 
he hereby does, to carry the same into effect. 

"The most probable means of this association tendering a 
service to the settlement is principally by forming a night 
watch, to patrol from the beating of the taptoo to that of the 
reveUlie, during which time they will search such places as may 
be deemed necessary for the discovery of any felony, trespass, 
or misdemeanour; and for the apprehension and securing for 
examination any person or persons who may appear to them 
concerned therein, either by entrance into any hut or dwelling, 
or by such other means as circumstances may render expedient. 

*' Cognisance is to be taken during the day, as well as by night, 
of such convicts as may sell or barter their clothing or pro- 
visions, as well as of such as gamble for either of the above 
articles or money ; and, upon detection, instantly place them in 

'* Upon receiving any information of a robbery having been 
committed during the night, they will use the most effectual 
means to trace out the offender or offenders, so that they may 
bo brought to justice. 

Settlement of 1803. 53 

** One of the members of the association will, at the morning 
parade, report the occurrences of the night to the Lieut- 
Governor, to whom they may have access at all hours. 

" When challenged by a sentinel, the officer on duty will give 
the countersign, which shall be sent to the Rev. Mr. knopwood 
for that purpose at sunset. 

'' The persons who are joined with them in this duty will, 
when challenged, answer ' Night Watch,' and, advancing to the 
sentinel, make themselves known as such. To prevent mistakes, 
their names will be left with the guard. As the military are 
to give every assistance they may require, so they will be 
cautious not to interfere with them in the discharge of their 

"Two of the undermentioned gentlemen will meet each 
night, taking with them four of the persons named hereafter; 
and they will patrol at such hours as may be best calculated 
not to interfere with the military rounds or patrols. 

"A tent will be pitched for their accommodation in the rear 
of the guard tent ; and the front of the tent is to be considered 
as their alarm post, where all the members of this association 
will assemble and wait for orders when the drum shall beat 
to arms. 

** The gentlemen will each be provided with a brace of pistols 
and suitable ammunition. The other persoiis will each be 
furnished with a short staff." 

It appears that a force of the association joined themselves to 
eleven of the military, in pursuit of a number of runaway 
convicts, on January 7th, 1804. 

The thermometer on the 18th stood at 102° in the shade and 
132'' in the sun, "by tax," writes Mr. Knopwood, "the hotest 
day since we came to the camp." Two schooners, in addition to 
the exploring Lady Nelson, came in from Port Jackson. All the 
convicts were embarked on board the Ocean on the 25th of 
January, for Van Diemen's Land. The chaplain followed the 

next day. 

The journal is continued during the voyage, and, for a time, 
while the chaplain was resident in Hobart Town. 

There is little to add of an unofficial kind about the colony. 
The Governor must have valued his friend John Sullivan, Esq., 
of the Colonial Office, after whom he called the settlement 
Sullivan Bay, since he carried the same name across to the 
Derwent. The location was made near the present site of 

54 Port Phillip Settlement. 

Sorrento, some eight miles from the Heads on the eastern coast 
of the bay. The Sydney Colonist, August, 1836, thus described 
the place : — " As if to impress the black natives with a high 
idea of British discernment and perseverance, the Royal Standard 
was hoisted and the settlement formed on the 07ily piece of 
sterile land within the Heads." 

Mrs. Bateman, a very old colonist, assured the author, many 
years ago, that she perfectly recollected the voyage out in 1803, 
though she made a mistake in thinking her vessel was in the 
bay a week before the arrival of the "Commodore," as she 
styled the Lieutenant-Governor. She had a lively recollection 
of the fine gardens over there. 

In Mr. Fawkner's Melbourne lectures, during 1866, treating 
of his past life, he stated that he was eleven years of age the 
day after landing in Port Phillip. On the way out, a Dutch 
man-o^-war summoned the vessel leading the exiles to sur- 
render. Captain WoodriflF, of the CalctUta, simply replied, 
*'Come and take us." Having fifty guns, the frigate could 
have made a good defence. However, the Dutchman thought 
better of the matter, and retired. On a subsequent occasion, 
Captain WoodriflF was convoying a valuable fleet of merchant 
vessels for India, when he met four French war-ships, one a 
seventy-four. Giving orders for his charge to scatter and escape, 
he prepared for fight. The first firigate that came on he disabled, 
and he severely maltreated two others. First retreating before 
the liner, he was subsequently compelled to make a stand. After 
four hours' desperate fighting, and after succeeding in placing his 
convoy in safety, the British warrior yielded. London merchants 
were so well pleased with his conduct, that they presented him 
with a valuable sword and some thousands of pounds. 

Mr. Fawkner also related the circumstance of a runaway 
returning to camp with the news of the Yarra Falls ; near 
them, in 1835, an iron pot was found. He notes the sinking 
of casks in the sand to obtain water, and which were seen on 
the occupation thirty years after. *'Our family," said he, 
"suffered terribly for cooked food." Cooking accommodation 
for 25 had to serve for 200. This was on the miserably long 
voyage of a month from Port Phillip to Hobart Town, where he 
lauded on February 16th, 1804. Of the iron pot, Arden says : 
" If it were not left there by Lieutenant Flinders, it must have 

Settlement of 1803. 55 

been cast upon the spot by some of the runaways of the first 

In a list of the occupations of the convicts, we learn that 
not less than 137 were simple labourers. Of the rest, 3 were 
carpenters, 3 cabinet-makers, 1 shipwright, 9 sawyers, 2 wheel- 
wrights, 1 chain-roller, 4 brickmakers, 6 bricklayers, 2 plasterers, 
1 stonemason, 8 blacksmiths, 1 locksmith, 1 farrier, 1 miller, 
5 bakers, 1 tinker, 1 tinman, 1 nailer, 2 miners, 1 dyer, 1 
brass-founder, 2 pastrycooks, 8 butchers, 7 gardeners, 5 tailors, 
S weavers, 1 calico-printer, 1 carpet-weaver, 1 stocking-weaver, 
1 currier, 12 shoemakers, 1 skinner, 1 gunmaker, 2 slaters, 1 
button-maker, 2 coachmakers, 1 mathematical instrument maker, 
1 lapidary, 1 refiner, 1 silversmith, 3 barbers, 1 copper-plate 
printer, 3 printers, 1 engraver, 1 gilder, 6 watermen, 5 fisher- 
men, 8 mariners, 2 caulkers, 1 ropemaker, 1 sailmaker, 1 maltster, 
1 hemp-spinner, 1 brewer, 1 schoolmaster, 1 writer, and 11 clerks. 

Among the stores, the following may be mentioned, with the 
prices according to the bills furnished by the vendors, still to be 
seen in the Record Office : — 

400 jackets, blue kersey, at 9s, 3rf. ; 400 duck trousers, 3«. 3rf. ; 
1,200 checked shirts, 3s. 9d, ; 800 hose. Is. ; 400 shoes, 4s. ; 
400 woollen caps, 6d. ; 60 nightcaps for men, 7d. ; 20 for women, 
15d, ; 4 spitting pots ; 42 pairs knives and forks, 4^(2. ; 4 sauce- 
pans, 2 quarts, Is. 6d, ; 45 yards Irish, 19d. ; 27 flannel 18rf. ; 
540 yards calico, 16d. ; 45 lbs. tea, 4s.; 225 lbs. sugar; 27, 
chocolate ; 54, sago ; 900, barley ; 2|, ginger ; 18, allspice ; 9^ 
pepper ; 27, mustard ; 900, soap ; 40 mess bowls; 4 tea kettles. 
There were to be 75 messes, 6 in each, or 450 people. After- 
wards came on board 75 lbs. of tea and 938 of sugar for 30 
women and 15 children. A list of medical stores is also given. 
The soap appears in fair supply, and was largely used by the 
women during the stay at Rio. But Captain WoodriflF, allowed 
to land the washerwomen on a rock in the harbour, was 
indignant at being charged 4/. a day rental during the ten 
days of laundry work. 

The settlers that arrived at Port Phillip were but few, as 
none were allowed to proceed to the colonies without express 
and individual authority from the British ministry. The whole 
number of free settlers introduced into the New Holland 
Settlements up to 1803 came only to 320 souls. 

56 Port Phillip Settlement. 

Governor King, in his despatch of January, 1803, in view of the 
Port Phillip colonization, wrote, " A mixture of the inhabitants 
would be very desirable. If fifty respectable famiUes, the heads of 
which ought to be good practical farmers, were sent, with the 
idea of staying here all their lives, much improvement would be 
made in that pursuit. People without any property would find 
themselves very uncomfortable and ill provided for." 

Some of the applications to the Colonial Secretary are 
curious. One Brions asks to be sent to the New Settlement. 
He was on a farm till he was twenty, a town porter for eight 
years, and had been for the last four years keeping a public 
house. Another offers himself for " Port Phillips in New South 
Wales." Mr. Harris, of the War Office, wishes to go out, though 
on a very moderate salary. He had been bred to the law, has 
some knowledge of agriculture, but more of natural history. 
Thomas Smith is anxious to " render his knowledge of agricul- 
ture useful to Government." Mr. Dance, of Oxford Street, 
wrote thus to Lord Hobart : " Your Lordship will perhaps 
recollect me — had the honour to serve you with fruit many 
years?' Lady Suffolk recommended a man to Lord Hobart, as 
" he speaks the French tongue with fluency." A single man, 
" by trade a smith, and understanding the different implements 
of agriculture in all its branches," makes his " declaration and 
intention of going," as he has heard " that an offer has been 
made by His Majesty of landing a number of Artists in his 
settlement " there. A Presbyterian, " well affected to the con- 
stitution of the country," asked to be sent out with other 
Presbyterians. One applicant deals heavily in capitals, writing : 
" My Lorde, Having An Inclination To Go With My Familey 
As Settellers To New South WaUes, And Knowing it To Be In 
Your Lordship's power To Obtain for me A Passage," &c. Three 
sign the memorial to Lord Hobart for " permission to go to the 
Begs, as we wishes to be Come A useful members of that 
Inhabitations for Lieve." 

The pocket-book Port Phillip settler, recommended by Colonel 
Baker, wrote January 10th, 1803 : — 

** My Lord, your Petitioner, J. R. Preston, solicits your Lord- 
ship's Goodness to send me as a Settler to New South Wales, as 
I have been Informed their's a ship going with settlers, and two 
as I know a going with it. Your Petitioner is a single man, is 

SEfTTLEMENT OF 1803. 67 

a Pocket Book Maker by trade, but gitts a Living now as a 
fellowship Porter ; having a Great desire to Go, flatters himself 
of Being a Useful! member in that Country if it should meet 
your Lordship's approbation." 

A more elaborate appeal is made January 13th, 1803, by 
Lieutenant Sterling and Lieutenant Hand : — 

" The plan we would wish to lay before you for your approba- 
tion is, that as we wish to settle in the new colony {Port Phillip), 
we should have an allowance, for each person our &milies and 
dependants may consist of, of a certain number of acres to clear 
and cultivate. 

'* That such persons shall receive a sum of money such as in 
your opinion shall be sufficient to enable them to procure such 
necessaries as must be procured in England, or those places 
abroad that they may stop at in their passage out, consisting of 
grain, plants, seeds, husbandry and other tools, animals of 
different kinds to breed and stock the country with, erect their 
houses, &c., &c., and clothing till the colony shall be in a 
state forward enough to supply itself. 

"That each person shall be allowed rations for the first 
two or three years, or such time as in your opinion it may take 
them to clear their grounds, cultivate and bring their stocks to 
that state that they may be enabled entirely to depend 
on them. 

''That each person shall be found a passage out, together 
with their fieamlies and effects, and subsisted through the 

" As the probability of the future prosperity of a colony must 
in a great degree depend on the advantageous settling of it in 
its infancy, I presume, sir, you will see the absolute necessity of 
those who first settle being made as comfortable as the first 
taking possession of an uninhabited country will admit of, and 
which must obviously require every assistance the mother 
country can render it, and without which support very few, and 
those only in desperate circumstances, would be induced to 
leave their native land for a very precarious living, merely for a 
time to shelter them from the laws of their own injured country. 
If any advantage to a new settlement can be derived firom large 
families first going out, whose children become iniired to the 
climate, and know no other country but the one they are 
brought up in, I think ours, which are young, and in an 
increasing state, will certainly be a recommendation to our offer." 

- How the British Government came to decline such an offer, 
accompanied by so many advantages, is not stated among the 
papers of the State Record Office. 

58 Port Phillip Settlement. 

Mr. Humphrey, the mineralogist, came out with the party, 
though afterwards proceeding to Sydney, to unfold the rock 
treasures of the colony, though no report of a discovery appears. 
He was allowed, in outfit, chemical tests, neutral salts, five acids, 
a portable furnace, and a few other instruments ; also Babington s 
New Systtiii of Mineralogy, and phosphorus boxes of matches 
for use on a mineralogical journey. He, too, applied as a 
settler, though seeking a salary. In his letter of February 18th, 
1803, he says : — 

"I am ready to accept the small allowance proposed by 
Government from the consideration of being allowed to send to 
London, free of all expenses, such specimens as I shall collect 
for my private use, after having fulfilled the instructions of the 
Governor in forming a duplicate collection for Government. On 
my arrival at New South Wales I shall hope to have a miner or 
servant found me from among the people in the settlement, and 
two rations issued daily ; at the end of eighteen months to be 
allowed the advantages of a settler." 

Strange to say Captain WoodriflF, of the CalctUfa, is pre- 
sented to us in the guise of a would-be settler. We hear 
nothing of an answer to his memorial. He was not able to 
return till 1805 ; but, while convoying some vessels, the CalcvUa 
was seized by the French. Though the Captain was soon 
exchanged, his chief oflScer, the romantic Port Phillip historian. 
Lieutenant Tuckey, was not reUeved till 1815. Captain Wood- 
riff's letter to Lord Hobart is dated January 8th, 1803, from 
Calcutta, Long Beach, River Medway : — 

" Having been honoured by the Right Honourable the Lords 
Commissioners of the Admiralty with the command of His 
Majesty's ship Calcutta, destined on a voyage to New South 
Wales, to convey to that colony convicted felons, and to procure 
and bring to this country a cargo of timber for building ships of 
war; having been in the colony in the years 1792 and 1793, 
and entertaining a favourable opinion of the settlement, I am 
induced, my lord, having a numerous family, to implore your 
Lordship for a grant of land in such proportion as your Lordship 
may think proper, as 1 propose taking three of my sons with me, 
and on a succeeding voyage such of my family (should your 
Lordship be pleased to afford me liberal grants) as may be 
sufficient to settle it. I frirther beg leave to state to your 
Loixlship that having at the conclusion of the American War 

SETTLEMEaJT OF 1803. 59 

mar;ied a lady, the daughter of a staunch Loyalist, of Ninety- 
six District in South (Carolina, who, with his life lost all his 
landed property to his family, I am the more induced td apply 
to your Lordship. She, by your wonted liberality, in a grant of 
land in the extensive colony of New South Wales, may at some 
future day make provision for six children, that may obliterate 
the sufiFerings, losses, and extreme distress of their ancestors, 
occasioned by their attachment to the Mother Country." 

How came the settlement at Sullivan's Bay to be abandoned ? 

As the report of the examination of the whole coast of Port 
Phillip Bay by Mr. Surveyor Grimes was made the pretence, 
among other reasons, for deserting the settlement of 1803-4, it 
is well to see what ground is afforded for considering the place so 
unsuitable for an agricultural colony. 

The swamps are certainly well mapped out: — Wannaeue 
Swamp, Big Swamp, Carrum Carrum Swamp, and Batman's 
Swamp. From 2,000 to 3,000 acres of good land were seen on 
Arthur's Seat. Light soil is most frequently named, though 
black is often quoted. There is " poor sandy land," " the land 
sandy "; " it^ appears good land at a distance, but only stones and 
short brush as we approached it " ; " soil black, gravelly sand," 
" the land sandy," " the country appearing very barren," " light 
sandy soil." When near the Yarra Yarra we hear of the black 
soil, of a swamp, and then, " opposite to this the land is stony 
soil, stiff, blue clay." West of the site of Melbourne we have, 
'* the land very bad, and very few trees." At last, between the 
Yarra and Saltwater river, we are told of the swamp having " fine 
grass, fit to mow," and the soil " black, rich earth." Two miles 
beyond, " the land much better and timber larger," soil black, 
ten to fiffceen inches deep." On the Gardiner's Creek, not very 
far from the Yarra, we read that " the land in general is a fine 
black soil, ten to eighteen inches deep." Studley Park is not 
much praised. The Werribee Plains are described as one-third 
grass, one stone, and the other earth. On the top of tlie hill " the 
land is good and fine pasture." The next day, " the land and 
timber is of the same quality for several miles," though not 
stating whether good or bad. Coming " to a fine green hill " 
they saw "very fine land." Beyond the Little Eiver it was 
" land stony and no wood." Near Cowie's Creek " the land is 
a light sand." Opposite Swan Island " the beach muddy, the 
land a swamp." 

60 Port Phillip Settlement. - 

But more serious was the repeated mention of salt^ water ; 
*' the doctor was so fatigued for want of water that he could not 
go on " — " crossed several dingles, all dry " — " came to a river, it 
was salt " — " runs of water in wet seasons, but all dry " — " dug 
for water, but it was salt ; we had not half a pint per man " 
— "captain went on before in search of water but found 

The report admits that "in several places there are small 
tracts of good land," yet adds, "but they are without wood 
and water." The traveller allows " every reason to think that 
there is not often so great a scarcity of water as at present from 
the appearance of the herbage," and notes that " the country in 
general is newly burnt." He cannot determine " the quantity 
of good land at the different places," as he had not been " favoured 
with the sight of a chart." He saw " the most eligible place for 
a settlement," and that was toward the northern end of the Bay. 
But the whole story of the Port King, or Port PhiUip, is not a 
cheery one. Men disposed to take a gloomy view of things 
might well be discouraged after reading that report. But as to 
tlie Yarra site, supposed to have been visited by Grimes and 
alluded to by Flinders, the editor of the Australia Felix 
Gazette had thisaccoimt : — 

" It does not appear, however, from his chart, a copy of which 
was given to Surveyor Hoddle in 1837, that he had ever 
reached or seen the Yarra Yarra or Saltwater River, for, on 
being questioned, he described the principal stream he met with 
as terminating in a mere chain of ponds. This could only have 
been the brook that falls into the sea a little to the westward 
of William's Town, and which is marked on the chart of Surveyor 
Hoddle as really only a succession of water holes." 

Of Lieutenant Tuckey's opinion nothing need be said after 
the perusal of his account of the voyage to Port Phillip. He 
was strongly prejudiced against the locality. Even the Deputy 
Surveyor of the Expedition, Mr. Harris, reported that the land 
only " carries a deceitful appearance of a rich country," and that 
though from the numerous bodies of natives seen up at the 
northern extremity of the bay, "it is likely that water is to be 
found there," yet "no appearance of it was seen during the 

'Yet Mr. Fawkner did not scruple to charge Colonel Collins 

Settlement of 1803. 61 

with having been bribed with 5001. not to find matters agreeable 

at Port Phillip, so that he might go elsewhere. Absurd as was 

this report, received and propagated by Mr. Fawkner, let us 

now turn to the Orders issued by the Lieutenant-Governor, as 

well as his o£Scial letters, to learn his reported opinion upon the 

subject. The notice about removal occurs in the Order issued 

the last day of 1803. 

"Sdllivan Bat, 81«< December^ 1803. 

"Parole — Chatham; C.Sign — Sheemess. 
" The Lieutenant-Governor is under the necessity of directing 
that the business of loading the Ocean be not suspended until 
that is completed. The people will, therefore, work the re- 
mainder of this day and Sunday. It has never been his wish to 
make that day any other than a day of devotion and rest, but 
circumstances compel him to employ it in labour. In this the 
whole are concerned, since the sooner we are enabled to leave 
this unpromising and unproductive country^ the sooner shall we 
be able to reap the advantages and enjoy the comforts of a more 
fertile spot, and, as the winter season will soon not be far dis- 
tant, there will not be too much time before us wherein to erect 
more comfortable dwellings for every one than the thin canvaa 
coverings which we are now under, and which ai'e every day 
growing worse." 

So " unpromising and unproductive " a colony might weir 
enough disincline the authorities from putting up more sub- 
stantial and convenient abodes than tents. But he must have 
been in a terrible hurry for the Governor to issue out orders to 
work all Sunday, that the party might the earlier remove. He 
did not recognise the old adage^ " prayer and provender hinder 
no man." Though he had complained of the neglect of public 
worship by the convicts on Sunday, gracious permission was 
given to stay away when the weather was not thought fair. 

The first Order about removal is dated " Sullivan Bay, 23rd 
January, 1804 " : — " The detachment of Royal Marines which 
have been ordered to hold themselves in readiness for embarka- 
tion will embark at the jetty to-morrow after guard mounting 
on board the Ocean" On January 2Cth, the Parole was 
EmharhatioUy and Countersign Ocean, in delighted prospect of 
the change. The General Orders for the following day are 
directed from " Ship Ocean, Port Phillip " : — 

"The whole number of prisoners embarked in the Ocean 
(the officers' servants excepted) will be distributed into three 

62 Port Puillip Settleaient. 

divisions, one of which will be upon deck at a time in the same 
manner as seamen are divided into watches, and for the same 
period of time. The several overseers who are with the people 
will see that the watches are regularly relieved, and the watch 
or division upon deck, during either day or night, must not upon 
any account go below until relieved. They will at all times give 
such assistance towards carryin,^ on the duty of the ship as may 
be required of them by Captain Mertho or any of his officers. 
The division which is upon deck during the morning watch will 
wash and clean themselves upon the forecastle, and as these 
several regulations are calculated for their health and conveni- 
ence, the Governor expects a due observance of them." 

In his letter to Governor King, November 5th, 1803, Colonel 
Collins wrote thus : — 

"I cannot but suppose that all the disadvantages of Port 
Phillip are as well known to your Excellency as they are to 
myself at this moment. If they are, you will have anticipated 
this Report, but it may not have entered into your contem- 
plation, that tliere are at this moment between three and four 
hundred people, sitting down cheerfully, with no other or more 
certain supply of water than what is filtered daily through the 
perforated sides of six or eight casks which are sunk in the 

On November 14th he wrote again to express his unfavourable 
opinion of both the western and eastern sides of the bays after 
a careful examination of both, which was " equally unsuccess- 
ful." He dwelt upon the difficulty of access, because of the reef 
at the Heads, and the shallowness of the water near the landing 
place. " Every day's experience," said he, " convinces me that 
it cannot, nor will ever, be resorted to by speculative men " ; 
adding, " when all the disadvantages attending this Bay are 
publicly known, it cannot be supposed that commercial people 
will be very desirous of visiting Port Phillip." 

Truly, if pioneers of the Batman, Henty, and Fawkner order 
had not been possessed of more energy, enterprise, and perse- 
verance than displayed by the officials associated with the 
attempt of 1803, speculative men and commercial people would 
have been kept the longer from acquaintance with Port Phillip. 

Colonel Collins wrote to Governor King on December 16th, 
furnishing fresh information on the removal. After expressing 
his regret that the Calcutta was hurrying off so soon to Port 

Settlement of 1803. 63 

Jackson, as he bad calculated upon its assistance in his removal, 
he then writes :— 

" The embarkation of the whole cannot possibly take place 
at once, I shall therefore divide the military, civil, and con- 
victs into two detachments, one of which with a proportion 
of stores and provisions can very well be sent away at a 

"As yet I have not made choice of the place whereto I 
shall proceed, as I am unacquainted with Port Dalrymple, and 
do not think it expedient to come to a decision on a point of 
that importance until I have had this harbour examined. 

" I have seriously considered the advantages and disadvantages 
of the two harbours stated in your despatch, and have attentively 
perused the inclosures contained therein. As your Excellency s 
opinion seems to point towards my fixing at Port Dalrymp!e, 
I shall (if its local advantages are found to be such as will 
warrant my proceeling thither) not hesitate in giving that 
Harbour the preference, although I must acknowledge that 
the circumstance of a settlement having been commenced in 
the Derwent is a strong inducement for my establishing myself 

After references to certain convicts, he turns to the free : 

" Having brought out with me eighteen persons ai^ settlers 
and their families, under the sanction of Government, I inclose 
a return of their names and numbers. My intention of re- 
moving I have communicated to them, and leaving it by their 
own election whether to proceed to Port Jackson or accompany 
me, they all made choice of the latter, excepting one, Millar, 
a shipwright, who has accepted an engagment with Mr. Palmer, 
the commissary, and who Captain Woodriff has admitted for 
a passage in the Calcutta, 

" I should not have consented to his departure could I have 
found employment for him in the line of his profession, but for 
some time to come a boat will be the only vessel I shall have 
occasion to construct, and this is now thrown to a greater 
distance by the appropriation of the launch and cutter (be- 
longing to His Majesty's late ship Porpoise) to my use, which 
your Excellency has directed." 

He told Lord Hobart, February 28, 1804, " Governor King 
had antic'pated my objections to Port Phillip, and coincided 
with me in the propriety of a removal," &c. 

The journal of the Colonial Chaplain, the Rev. Robert 
Knopwood, A.M., is usually too brief to afford much information 

64 Port Phillip Settlement. 

upon this question of removal. But the very first entry after 
entering the port on Sunday, October 9th, is far from hopeful : 

" Captain Woodriff and Lieut.-Governor Collins went on shore 
on the south side of the island (?) At six they returned. Could 
not find any fresh water. They reported the soil to be very had, 
and the trees small, unfit for the use of H.M. Navy. The Bay 
is very large, more so than any I ever see, but the enterance does 
not exceed a mile and a half, though from the camp S.W. to 
the N.E. of the Bay, it is not less than 60 miles to the fresh 
water lake." Monday gives no better news : — " Could not find 
any water but what was very brackish that we could not drink. 
The land was very bad light soil." After many miles ramble on 
this and the opposite shore, the conclusion was — " by no means 
satisfied with the country," 

Tuesday has this record : — " Capt. W. and the Gov, with 
Mr. Tuckey, went on the west side of the Bay to procure water. 
Could not find any. The information that the Governor, &c. 
gave was by no means favourable, for want of soil, water, and 
trees." The carpenter could find no wood fit to secure the head 
and knees of the ship. His testimony is valuable to the fact 
that within a week, and on Sunday, an expedition was de- 
spatched "to survey the Bay from the camp northward, if 
possible to ascertain a more eligible situation for forming a 
settlement," An effort was made to learn something of the 
neighbourhood. The two boats reached the Yarra. The 
chaplain's entry, not more remarkable for orthography and 
carefulness than in other places, was as follows : — 

*' Friday 21, a.m. At 50 past 7 the launch and cutter re- 
turned from surveying the harbour, having last night arrived 
in the N.W. point of the bay, where they have discovered a 
Btraigh (strait ?) ^n apparent passage towards the sea, which 
the Lieut. Mr. Tuckey, intended to have explored, but was 
driven to the southward during the night by a tide or current 
from the apparent straigh ; and at daylight, finding himself near 
the ship, returned on board. At 11 Capt, Woodriff and Lieut. 
Tuckey came to the camp, who produced to the Governor a 
chart, the survey about 90 miles round the bay from Arthers 
Seat (the highest hill on the east of the bay) ; and had landed 
in several places to observe the soil, trees, and to obtain water. 
The report was ' the soil bad, trees very small, and but little 
water ; nor could they get any fish.' " 

The climate did not suit the chaplain. On October 25th he 
wrote : ** The day was exceeding hot. At 12 the thermometer 

Settlement of 1803. 65 

stood at 92. Confined to ray bed the major pt. of the day. 
At half-past six it was exceedingly cold; the sudden change 
from heat to cold is very great here, much more than in 
England." Mr. Tuckey is said to be surveying the harbour on 
the 31st. The 25th of November records, " Mr. M. Collough 
arrivd in the camp from H.M. ship Calcutta; he walked it 
from the Fresh River (Yarra Yarra), where ship layd watering, 
not less than forty-five or fifty miles, a very great undertaking. 
He and a party sup'd with me." This looks like a renewed 
attempt at examination of the site of Melbourne. We are 
Further told of the Calcutta taking in fifty-five tons of fresh 
water from that river. 

He continues to speak all through of the Nepean peninsula 
as an island. On December 12th the chaplain writes of the 
return of the Ocean, that had been sent to Sydney for orders, 
consequent upon the expression of dissatisfaction with the site 
at Port Phillip :— 

" The ship brought Mr. Collins and the crew that went to 
Port Jackson and despatches to Lieutenant G. Collins. By 
him we were informed that there was a settlement formed 
on Van Dandemen's Land by a part of the convicts, male 
and female, under the command of Lieutenant Bowen, River 
du Nord, the River Derwent, on the south shore of Van 
Diemen s Land, and that the Ocean and Lady Nelson, which 
sailed on the 28th of November, and the Ocean on the 29th of 
November, have come to P*- Phillip to remove us there, or 
where the Lieutenant-Governor should think proper." 

On the 14th we read of "the Francis schooner, from Port 
Jackson, sent round by order of Governor King, for to remove 
the settlement to Van Diemen s Land." This vessel went on 
to Port Dalrymple, Laimceston, ten days after. The Governor's 
Simday work is thus noticed by the chaplain : — 

" Sunday, January 1, jlm, — ^The Lieutenant-Governor, being 
desirous of expediting the removing the stores as fast as possible 
for loading the Ocean transport for our embarking to Van 
Dieman s Land, is under the necessity of ordering the prisoners 
to work this day as on others." 

On the 25th the convicts embarked, and the next day the 
chaplain went on board for the Derwent. 

It was the general impi*ession, and not merely the Governor's 


66 Port Phillip Settlement. 

whim, that Port Phillip was unsuitable. It seemed then to be 
necessary, especially in that war time, that the chief settlement 
of the colony should be near the Heads, so as to guard against 
surprise by an enemy. No place in this vicinity, on either side 
of the Bay, was found well provided with fresh water. As 
Flinders remarks of Governor Collins — "But he quitted Port 
Phillip for the south end of Van Diemen's Land, probably from 
not finding fresh water for a colony sufficiently near to the 
entrance." Paterson's History of New South Wales^ published 
in 1811 at Newcastle, says of the attempt: "Here, to their 
mortification, they observed a total want of fresh water, and 
found its soil so extremely light and sandy as to deny all hopes 
of successful cultivation." The Sydney Oazette, referring to 
Port Phillip, on February 17th, 1825, observed, " which was 
necessarily abandoned for want of water, as well as proper 
anchorage, by Colonel Collins in 1804." In Martin s Colonial 
Library we read that the Governor "altered his destination, 
after a short experience of the manifold and insurmountable 
difficulties attending the place." Mr. Westgarth, in his Austraiia 
Felix of 1848, called the location a " hasty or injudicious choice," 
and declared it " was destitute of fresh water and without 
facilities for shipping." Jorgenson, mate at that time of the 
Lady Nelson, wrote : " The arid, infertile nature of the soil, with 
a distressing scarcity of water, had made the abandonment of 
that station inevitable." 

With such consensus of opinion upon Port Phillip, the 
affirmation of Mr. Fawkner as to the bribe of 500Z. seems 
disposed of. But we have not only the word of the two sur- 
veyors, the captain and lieutenant of the CaloiUta, as well as 
of the chaplain ; there is to be added the expressed declaration 
of Governor King. 

Long before the expedition arrived, the mind of Governor 
King had beea undergoing a change as to the value of Port 
Phillip. He wrote home, May 9th, 1803, these words : — 

" The officers of the Buffalo, surveyor, gardiner, &c., returned 
from their survey of King s Island and Port Phillip with no very 
promising hopes of either being found an eligible place for a 
large agncultural establishment. I have the honour to forward 
you a copy of their survey, which will explain what they have 
done. It now remains to determine how far it would be 

Port PhxUip. 

To fw^p. 66 Barrahuil HUls- 

i^ u 

Settlement of 1803. 67 

advisable to make a settlement at Port Phillip, from its being 
situated at the western extremity of the straits, it may be 
advisable sonie years hence, and indeed absolutely necessary, 
how far it may be considered as an immediate object, I must 
submit to your Lordship's consideration." 

He wrote thus to Lord Hobart, March 1, 1804 : — 

" On the 24th November I learned that Lieutenant-Governor 
Collins arrived at Port Phillip the 9th of October last in the 
CcdctUta, By the Ocean and a boat I received letters fix>m the 
Lieutenant-Governor, reporting the badness of the soil, and the 
want of fresh water, as decided objections against Port Phillip 
being eligible for an agricultural settlement, and requesting my 
directions for his further proceedings. 

"Not receiving your lordship's despatches by those con- 
veyances, I could only act from the Lieutenant-Governor s 
account, and the Report and Survey I ordered to be taken from 
December, 1802, to March, 1803, which I sent your lordship 
by the Glatton, being anxious to ascertain what might be 
expected from that place, as the information I first gave your 
lordship was that I received from its first discoverer (Mr. 
Murray), and Captain Flinders in February, 1802 ; but when 
the surveyor and the other officers returned from examining 
it in March, 1803, I considered it necessary to apprise your 
lordship of that survey, all which is detailed in my inclosed 
correspondence with Lieutenant-Governor Collins. 

" No ship being here at my command, and the time it would 
take to remove the .establishment, &c., by two colonial vessels, 
will, I hope, appear sufficient reasons for the steps I took 
previous to receiving your lordship's despatches, by directing 
lieutenant-Govemor Collins to remove his establishment, and 
taking up the Ocean for that purpose." 

He further intimates : — 

" Although I cannot but regret that Port Phillip has been 
deemed unfit for a principal establishment, yet as I conceived 
it necessary to leave a small establishment at that place, I have 
-given the necessary directions for that purpose." 

Two days after, on November 26th, 1803, Governor King 
thus addressed his subordinate at Sullivan's Bay : — 

"It appears, as well by Mr. Grimes's and Mr. Bobbins's 
survey as by your Report, that Port Phillip is totally unfit, in 
every point of view, to remain at without subjecting the Crown 
to the certain expensive prospect of the soil not being equal to 
raise anything for the support of the Settlement, unless you 

F 2 


Port Philup Settlement. 

should have made any further observations to encourage your 
remaming there ; pernaps the upper parts of the Bay, at the 
Head of the River, may not have escaped your notice, as that is 
the only part Mr. Grimes and those that were with him speak 
the most favourably of. From this circumstance I shall presume 
it will appear to you that removing from thence will be the 
most advisable for the Interest of Hia Majesty's service. 

"You will perceive by the Inclosure that my first view 
respecting forming a Settlement at Port Phillip proceeded from 
the reports of its first discoverer, Mr. Murray, and the subse- 
quent accounts of Capt. Flinders (a copy of whose Chart I also 
send). You will observe that it was not my intention to fix 
this settlement, or any other, until I heard from England, and 
you will also observe the reasons that determined me on fixing 
a settlement at the Derwent on Van Diemen's Land : also, the 
Commandant's communications from thence, and my correspon- 
dence with him. The circumstances you will consider as a 
guide to your judgment in going to that settlement, or whether 
you consider Port Dalrymple more eligible ; as you are provided 
with Capt. Flinders's chart and his pamphlet of observations, I 
can give you no other information respecting that place, except 
sending you his and Mr. Bass's manuscript journal, where you 
will observe everything respecting that place, or Bisdon Cove, 
more in detail ; having no other copy, I will thank you to restore 
it by the CcdcvMa or Ocean. I should now state what I consider 
the advantages and disadvantages of fixing your Government 
at the River Derwent or Port Dalrymple. The advantages of 
the river Derwent is the situation for ships to touch at on their 
way to China or this place. The favourable report of the soil 
by Bass and Flinders, and its being confirmed by Mr. Bowen in 
the short time he has been there, together with the facility 
of ships having access to it, is a great recommendation. 
Although not so advanta^ously situated as Port Dalrymple, 
yet its capability in affording future protection to the Sealers 
and those who go in quest of oil is an object of equal con- 
sideration, with the advantage of having a Settlement already 
commenced and stocked, altho' on a very small scale. 

" Your residence at Port Phillip will have convinced you of 
the prevalence of the south-west or westerly winds, the former 
of which being the more general makes the north side of Van 
Diemen's Land a weather shore for ships passing through the 
Straits either way. So far the entrance of Port Dalrymple is 
easy, and in a great degree safe of access, but it must not be 
forgot that sometimes gales do blow from the northward, 
although of short duration compared to the south and westerly 
winds, which may be called almost constant. Messrs. Bass and 
Flinders do not speak so decidedly of the soil as they do of that 

Settlement of 1803. 69 

of the Derwent. The difficulty of access into the Port is parti- 
cularly stated by Captain Flinders, although that is an incon- 
venience that probably may be lessened when a more perfect 
knowledge of the Channel is obtained. 

" Having possessed you of all these circumstances, it remains 
with you to determine which of the two places you consider most 
eligible to remove to with your establishment. 

In this letter to the Governor, while leaving him the liberty of 
action, he evidently inclines to the views of Colonel Collins, as 
they coincide with those of Messrs. Grimes and Robbins. Tet 
he hints about the likelihood of the head of the bay presenting 
more hopeful features. This was believed to refer to the 
Yarra Yarra locality. Why then, was that declined ? 

Apart from the consideration that the position ought to be 
near the Heads, there really was not much to influence the 
authorities to choose the other. The land near the river was 
pronounced good, but it was poor a little way oflf. Another 
reason, and an important one, was presented in Mr. Surveyor 
Harris's report, and referred to by the Lieut.-Govemor in his 
despatch — it was the number of the natives. The collision 
between these and Lieut. Tuckey did not favour a settlement 
there. The people were very numerous, strong, and warlike. 
Col. Collins reporting to Lord Hobart, notices this, saying : — 

" Were I to settle in the upper part of the harbour, which 
is full of natives, I should require four times the strength I 
have now.*' 

Mr. Harris said, "The northern shore is more numerously 
inhabited than any other parts." It was enough to do to look 
after the convicts, with his small army ; the Governor there- 
fore feared to add to his anxieties and responsibilities by 
establishing himself near so strong a band of resolute savages. 
Some think the fear of a lonesome post, hundreds of miles 
from other Europeans, exposed to the attacks of warlike tribes 
over so extensive a range of country, prevailed in the mind of 
Colonel Collins as much as the fear of wanting fresh water, in 
prompting to a removal from the mainland. 

Preparations both at Sydney and Port Phillip were made for 
the removal. In Captain King's letter to Captain Mertho, 
November 25th, respecting the chartering of his vessel, the 
Ocean, this plea is presented: — "An exigency of the public 

70 Port Phillip Settlement. 

service requiring that the civil and military establishments, 
with the provisions and stores, landed at Port Phillip should 
be removed to Port Dalrymple or the River Derwent ou Van 
Diemen's Land." An agreement was made for four months at 
eighteen shillings a ton per month. The Governor sent on 
the following letter for Colonel Collins to give to the Com- 
mandant Bowen, at Bisdon, on the Derwent : — 

" This letter will be delivered by BQs Honor, David Collins, 
Esq., His Majesty's lieutenant-Qovemor of a Settlement 
Intended to have been formed at Port Phillip, but from that 
place not being found fit for settlement, that gentleman has 
received my directions to make choice of Port DaJrymple or 
Hobart to fix it. Should he determine on Hobart, you will 
immediately resign the Command of the Settlement to him." 

Although Mr. Collins, the settler, had reported favourably of 
Port Dalrymple, to which he had been sent for an inspection, 
Lieut. -Governor Collins wrote to Sydney, January 27th, 1804 : 
" I had made my election of the Derwent, previous both to the 
receipt of your Despatch and Mr. Collins's Report." He was 
then only waiting for the right wind to carry him out of that 
disagreeable place. The Governor, as he had advised Lord 
Hobart, was unwilling for the port to be abandoned at once by 
the whole party, writing on the 30th of December to Colonel 
Collins: — 

" After having stated my reasons for a settlement not being 
made on King's Island, I think there is a necessity for a small 
Establishment being left at Port Phillip, in the most Eligible 
situation, as well for the purpose of advising any ships that may 
hereafter arrive, as for other advantages that will attend that 
measure. Perhaps a trusty seijeant and superintendent might 
be sufficient at present until farther instructions are received 
from England on this head." 

That Governor King had not given up the idea of a colony 
at Port Phillip is evident from the instructions he gave to 
Colonel Paterson, June 1st, 1804, when he sent him to form 
a dep8t at Port Dalrymple, now Launceston. This officer, 
however, in that infant age of colonial navigation, could not 
reach it. Another vessel left Sydney for it with fourteen 
soldiers on board ; but, after beating about for a whole month, 
the ship returned to Port Jackson. Though Colonel Paterson 
had to wait till the Buffalo was repaired to take his little 

Settlement of 1803. 71 

party, he had a roving commission to look after likely spots 
, for colonisation. 

"You are also to examine," wrote the Governor to him, " how 
far you consider Port Phillip or Western Port most eligible for 
forming a post at, not so much with a view to its being con- 
sidered a present agricultural settlement, as a Post of Occupancy, 
although your Observations respecting the former advantage at 
Port Dalrymple, Port Phillip, and Western Port ought not to 
be totally disregarded. 

"You will also observe the best situation for settlements, 
in which you will have a view to the commercial advantage, 
access of vessels, obtaining fresh water, and its defence. You 
will also observe where Settlers can be advantageously placed, 
and finally make such general daily observations as may guide 
my judgment in the most proper places to establish settlements, 
committing all your observations to writing." 

In those primeval days, for want of good vessels and proper 
means of communication, matters ofben got in a tangle. Thus, 
the Qovemor sent down to Lieutenant Bowen, at Risdon, de- 
siring him to be off in a little cutter to Port Phillip, in order to 
give needful information about the Derwent to Colonel Collins. 
On arrival within the Heads, Mr. Bowen found the Lieut.- 
Govemor had left with half the people ; so he had to turn 
round and hasten back again. On his way across the Straits, 
the rudder fastening broke. When in great peril, he was 
rescued by an American whaler. With more speed than 
prudence, he hired the ship's tender, trusting wholly to the 
American captain's honour and justice in making a charge. 
Of course, Jonathan accepted the good fortune of spoiling the 
Britishers, and presented a very stiff bill at Sydney. 

Captain Delano, of the schooner Filgrim, demanded for his 
display of nautical benevolence the sum of 400/. The Governor 
was indignant, but paid. In his explanation to Lord Hobart, he 
said: "But as he (Bowen) had given a conclusive draft on me 
for service perforTfied, I did not consider I could, with that 
respect to the British Character, either curtail or refuse the 
payment of the Bill, notwithstanding the extortionate advantage 
that had been taken of Mr. Bowen's necessities, and his not 
entering into a written agreement." This Delano was not an 
agreeable man. He was the champion of American superiority 
over the poor Britisher, wherever there was a chance of dis- 

72 Port Phillip Settlement. 

playing it. Though 'cute to take in the Sydney Government, 
it was most cruel of him to torture unfortunate English sealers 
in the Straits, simply from annoyance at their superior good 
fortune in catching the warm-coated amphibia. By depositions 
before a magistrate, information was given of the seizure of some 
of these islanders by order of Captain Delano, who subjected 
them to brutal and humiliating treatment, while prohibiting 
them, with fearful curses, from sealing when he was cruising 
in those British seas. 

The Sydney Gazette of the period had some allusions, in its 
very limited space, to the proceedings at Port Phillip, and the 
circumstances of the removal. The issue of November 24th, 
1803, notifies the arrival of the Ocea7i from Sullivan's Bay; 
described as ''an intended settlement under the command 
of His Honor Lieutenant-Gk>vemor David Collins." But it 
speaks of there being 209 male convicts, 15 women and 
children, and only 2 firee settlers. It is correct in reporting 
eight deaths among ihe prisoners on the passage, but wrong in 
calling the chaplain Hopwood, instead of Knopwood. Further 
particulars are then given as to tiie letters brought round from 
the new colony : — 

"The Lieutenant-Governor having communicated to His 
Excellency the same unfavourable circumstances respecting 
Port Phillip not being calculated for an extensive settlement, 
as was reported by the Surveyor-Gteneral, Mr. Grimes, who, with 
other assistance, surveyed it in January last, but whose report 
had not reached England before the Calcutta sailed ; Lieutenant- 
Governor Collins has, therefore, suspended his proceedings until 
he receives instructions from His Excellency the Govemor-in- 
Chief, which he has requested by Mr. Collins, a passenger, 
under the sanction of Government, who very handsomely 
volunteered his services to bring the Lieutenant-Governor s 
letters in an open six-oar'd boat, which there is every reason 
to believe he would have accomplished with great credit to 
himself, altho' he encountered much bad weather and heavy 
gales in the Straits and on the coast, but being so fortunate as 
to fall in with the Ocean off Point Upright, Captain Merthe, 
who appears to have had no intention of touching here, very 
humanely took Mr. Collins and his people (six) on board, and 
brought them to this port." 

We are subsequently informed by that paper that the Irody 
Nelson is ordered to go with the Ocean back to Port Phillip, 

Settlement of .1803. 73 

"to enable Lieutenant-Governor Collins to comply with His 
Excellency's Instructions;** — ^in other words, to remove the 
whole party. 

The issue of December 26th, 1803, speaks of the arrival of 
the CcUcidta, D. Woodriffe, when it is stated : ** As soon as the 
IVancis is repaired, we learn it is the intention of Lieutenant- 
Governor Collins to send her out upon survey to Port Dalrymple." 
It was then doubtful whether Hobart Town or Launceston was 
to receive the first Port Phillip settlers. But by the Gazette of 
January 16th, 1804, appeared the news that "On Sunday 
arrived His Majesty's colonial schooner Francis, Wm. Bushworth, 
master, having left Port Phillip the 25th of December with 
some officers sent by Lieutenant-Governor Collins to survey 
Port Dalrymple." Becoming leaky, the Lady Nelson, W. Sim- 
monds, fortunately came in view, and went to execute the 
commission. FAruary Sth has the notice : " Sailed yesterday 
for Port Phillip and the Derwent, Integrity, with settlers and 

The Lady Nelson retltmed January 20th from Port Phillip. 
The Oaaette, February 12th, says: *' Lieut.-Govemor Collins 
embarked on board the Ocean on the 27th of last month, with 
as great a proportion of stores, provisions, and people as that 
ship could remove/' It informs readers that Lieutenant 
Sladden of the Marines had been left in charge at Port 

The Ocean left Port Phillip with Colonel Collins on Thursday, 
January 26th, 1804, though not escai»ng the horrc^rs of the Rip 
till the next day. After a rough passage of twenty days, the 
anchor was lowered in Bisdon Cove. In the log of the ship we 
read : " It was observed by the officers of the ship and pas- 
sengers that Wm. Frantzin, cabbin steward, was very much 
intoxicated, and that he had been in that state for four or five 
days. On examining the stores, found several bottles of wine 
had been taken out of a tierce stowed in the gun-room." 

Another record of the log is: "Sunday, 19th (February), 
Proceeded for Sullivan Cove, that being the name His Honor 
Lieut.-Govemor CoUins was pleased to Give the place where 
he intended to form his settlement. At 4 anchored in 13 
Fathom water about 2 miles from the shore." Risdon Cove 
was reached on the 15th inst. 

74 Port Phillip Settlement. 

The Ocean left again Marcli 22nd, reaching Port Phillip 
in twenty-four days. On Sunday, April 20th, after killing 
"upwards of 200 rats about the fires. and on the gun-deck," 
Lieutenant Sladden started off with the remainder of the 
expedition. The voyage was very tempestuous. On May 7th 
all were put on short allowance of water. After being tossed 
about for thirty-five days, in a passage traversed now in little 
over two, the unhappy people arrived in the Derwent, May 25th. 
But the Governor got no information about them till the Ocean 
got back to Sydney, August 24th. Then he learned the 
ravages scurvy had made among the Port Phillip fugitives, 
causing the death of many. Among those suffering, but who 
recovered, were two of the returned runaways, Marmon and 
David Gibson. Governor King, in his letter to Colonel Collins 
September 30 th, 1804, thus notes the last of the ill-fated 
Port Phillip settlement : — 

" I am concerned at the sickly state of the remainder of your 
Establishment when they arrived by the Ocean, but hope from 
yotir accotmt of the abundance of kangaroos that any remains 
of the scurvy will soon be eradicated, and the strength restored 
of those who had been ailing." 

Colonel Collins closes his official connexion ¥rith Port Phillip, 
in his despatch to Lord Hobart, from Hobart Town, February 
28th, 1804:— 

'' Hitherto I had not caused my commission as the Lieutenant- 
Governor to be read, reserving the publication of His Majesty's 
pleasure therein until I should be permanently established in 
whatever place might be adopted for the settlement, with the 
government of which I had been honoured. Determining to 
make a public example of these delinquents, I thought it would 
add to the solemnity which I wished should attend this act of 
justice, to cause the commission to be read, and gave orders 
necessary for the occasion. 

''According to these orders, all the civil and military, settlers 
and prisoners, were assembled on the following day, at eleven 
o'clock, on the public parade, when His Majesty's commission, 
appointing me to be the Lieutenant-Governor of a settlement to 
be formed in Bass's Straits, was publicly read by the chaplain, the 
Rev. Mr. Knopwood, at the conclusion of which the detachment 
of marines fired three volleys. I then addressed the convicts 
in general, and, after pointing out the comforts which they 
enjoyed, and the ill use which they made of them, I called 

Settlement of 1803. 75 

ttie five prisoners forward, whom I caused to be punished with 
100 lashes each by the drummers of my detachment. 

"The apprehension of these people was followed in a few 
days by the voluntary return of three others, who had been 
longer absent, and whose appearance bore testimony to the 
hardshipci they had undergone. These I did not punish ; they 
immediately required medical treatment, and I thought their 
own tale of their sufferings might operate more effectually to 
deter others from absconding than any corporal punishment 
which I might inflict ; and with this view I published in the 
sreneral orders the particulars of the information I had received 
from them. 

" While upon this subject I shall (though not in the regular 
detail of the transactions of the settlement) report to your lord- 
ship the subsequent desertions that took place among the 

" There was among the prisoners, who were received from the 
hulks at Portsmouth, one George Lee, a young man of education 
and abilities. He had been noticed in the Calcutta in conse- 
quence of these advantages, and on his landing I did not employ 
him at hard labour, but permitted him to construct a small hut, 
in which he resided. I was concerned to find that he abused 
the indulgence, and misapplied the leisure which I allowed him 
by endeavouring to create dissatisfaction among the prisoners, 
and throwing some very illiberal reflections upon the officers in 
general of the settlement. 

" I thought it absolutely necessary to have this man's conduct 
investigated, and for this purpose requested the Bev. Mr. Knop- 
wood to make the proper inquiry. The result of this was so 
un&vourable to Lee that I determined to disgrace him, and 
ordered him to be classed to a gang ; but he prevented me by 
withdrawing from the settlement, taking with him another 
prisoner, and a musket which he obtained by uttering a false- 
hood from the people at my garden. This man was held in 
such estimation by the prisoners in general that they concluded 
he must be in possession of some resources unknown to them to 
enable him to live independent of the public stores ; and I waa 
informed that a large party intended to join him. 

" Several robberies having been committed in the night pre- 
ceding Christmas Day. and one of a very daring nature in the 
commissary's tent, from whence a gun had been stolen, I 
promised to procure from the Govemor-in-Chief a conditional 
emancipation for any prisoner who should bring forward and 
prosecute to conviction any person or persons who had been 
guilty of these outrages. I also appointed a night-watch, con- 
sisting of five persons, which was afterwards improved into 
an armed and voluntary association of the civQ officers of the 

76 Port Phillip Settlement. 

settlement, for the protection of the persons, property, and peace 
of the colony. 

" The reward that I oflfered had the effect which I had rather 
hoped than expected. A convict (since dead) came to me in a 
few days, with information that the commissary's and other 
tents had been robbed by two convicts, one of whom had been 
for some time in the woods ; the other went oflf the night he 
committed the robbery. He also told me that five others had 
for some time planned an escape, which was to be executed that 
night, and they were to join the two men who had robbed the 
conmiissary. I could immediately have apprehended these 
people, and prevented them making the attempt, but I judged 
it more advisable to detect them in the act, and for that 
purpose sent out some people armed in the course of the day, 
with orders to post themselves at a place, which, according to 
my informant, they must pass, and endeavour to secure them, 
but at all events to prevent their escape. I was, moreover, not 
certain that the information which I had received was correct, 
but the event proved that it was so. 

" At one o'clock in the morning the non-commissioned officers, 
whom I had sent out, brought me word that two of the party 
under his du*ection had fallen in with the deserters, one of 
whom, not answering on being three times challenged, had been 
fired at and wounded, his companions making their escape, and 
leaving him on the beach about three miles from the camp. I 
immediately despatched one of the surgeons with dressings, a 
cart, and every assistance which waa necessary to bring lim. 
This was accordingly executed, and though the wounded man 
was immediately pronounced to be in extreme danger (a slug 
having lodged in the abdomen), yet, neither the pain which he 
suffered, nor the expectation of approaching dissolution, could 
induce him to utter a syllable that would lead to a discovery of 
his associates, or of others in the camp who might have assisted 
them in their escape. 

" This happened on the 27th December. Upon the 13th of 
the following month, one of these wretches surrendered himself 
at the camp, having accompanied the others, according to his 
calculation, upwards of 100 miles round the extensive harbour 
of Port Phillip. He brought in with him the commissary's fowl- 
ing-piece, and stated that he had subsisted chiefly upon gum 
and shell-fish. His companions intended to proceed to the 
mountains, which are to the westward of Port Jackson, and 
having no reason, from the result of some researches which I 
caused to be made after them, to think that they were in my 
neighbourhood, I forbore harassing the military in any further 
fruitless pursuit of them. 

*' Having requested Captain Woodriff (who had nothing on 

Settlement of 1803. 77 

boaxd tlie Calcutta belonging to the settlement but the gun- 
powder and ordnance stores) to delay his departure, until I 
should have had a reply to my letter which I had sent by Mr. 
Collins, he acceded to my request, as well as to a requisition 
which I madft, of a non-commissioned oflBcer and ten privates 
being landed for the duty of the garrison, from the detachment 
of I^yal Marines belonging to his ship. I have now the 
honour to inclose copies of the letter which I wrote to Captain 
Woodriff, and his answer upon this occasion. 

" While waiting for the return of the boat from Port Jackson, 
I employed some people in constructing a magazine of stone, 
cemented with lime, capable of containing the ammunition that 
was on board the Calcutta, m case any circumstance should 
occur that might oblige me to land it. 

" I have now to acquaint your lordship with the arrival of the 
Ocean store ship, from Port Jackson, on the 12th of December. 
I learned that the master of this ship had fortunately met with 
Mr. Collins in the boat which I had sent to Sydney, on the eve of 
a heavy gale of wind, which he escaped by being taken into the 
ship, and, in her, finishing his voyage to Port Jackson. 

'* Governor King had anticipated my objections to Port Phillip, 
and coinciding with me in the propriety of a removal, pointed 
out two places to my election — Port Dabymple, or a settlement 
which had been commenced under his direction in the Derwent 
Eiver, in Van Diemen's Land. To enable me to judge of either, 
he pointed out the advantages and disadvantages of both. He 
seemed to incline to the former of these places, if it should be 
ascertained, upon an examination of that harbour, that there 
was at its entrance a sufficient depth of water for large vessels, 
for which purpose he sent me down one of the colonial 
schooners ; and in order to facilitate the removal of the esta- 
blishment, he informed me that he had hired the Ocean for four 
months, in which service she was to co-operate with His Majesty's 
ship Calcutta. But I had the mortification to learn from Captain 
Woodriflf, that he intended to proceed immediately to Port Jack- 
son, as he did not think it advisable to risk the king's ship in 
exploring a new harbour. 

** I cannot but own, that at the first communication of this 
intention, I felt myself very much hurt, for I reflected that I 
should have to remove in one ship the people, stores, and pro- 
visions, which had been sent out by Government in two, and 
consequently, should have to divide the small military force 
which was under my command, as it was not possible the Ocean 
could take us all at one time. Captain WoodriiBTs reasons were 
of such weight with him that I did not oppose them, and imme- 
diately set about the arduous undertaking which was before me. 
I have the honour to inclose the copy of a letter which Captain 

78 Port Phillip Settlement. 

WoodrifiF wrote me on this occasion, and of my reply. The 
Calcndta left me on the 18th of December. 

" I forthwith despatched the schooner, having given her some 
repairs which she much needed, to the examination of Port 
Dalrymple, sending in her Mr. Collins, who, from his knowledge 
as a master in the navy, was well qualified to judge of the fit- 
ness of the port ; Mr. Humphrey, the mineralogist (who volun- 
teered his services on the occasion), and Mr. Clark, the agricul- 
tural superintendent, with proper instructions and directions to 
touch at Kents Group, in their way through the Straits, to look 
for His Majesty's armed tender. Lady Nelson, which had been 
for some time missing. 

" During the absence of Mr. Collins I loaded the store-ship, 
putting on board somewhat more than half the provisions and 
nearly all the stores, to facilitate which I ran out a jetty, 380 
feet from the beach, which proved of essential service. 

" On the 20th of January, one of the colonial vessels arrived, 
with a letter from Governor King, wherein he informed me that 
a schooner had come in from Port Dalrymple, in the entrance of 
which, the master stated to him to have found only three 
fathoms of water in a very intricate and narrow channel, and 
that he had been impeded in procuring fresh water by large 
bodies of hostile natives. His Excellency therefore imagined 
that I would give up all idea of going thither, and proceed to 
establish myself on the Derwent. 

" But previous to the receipt of this letter I had determined 
to proceed to that settlement upon the return of the gentleman 
I had sent thither. The motives which led me to this resolution 
being fully detailed in a letter to the Governor, I have taken 
the liberty of inclosing a copy of it to your lordship, as well as 
a copy of another letter to the same officer, which contains a 
minute account of my transactions from my departure from Port 
Phillip, to my finally establishing myself in this place, where 
I have every hope that the disappointments which have hitherto 
accompanied me will cease, and that the anxious wishes which 
hitherto have been procrastinated of carrying your lordship's 
intentions into execution, respecting the formation of a settle- 
ment in this part of New Holland, will at length be completely 

" I should not presume to refer your lordship to copies of my 
letters to another person for my transactions under the 
authority of your instructions, did I not hope that the multi-. 
plicity of the business which is at present upon my hands, and 
the short time I can spare from attending them to write my 
letters, will plead my excuse. I am extremely solicitous this 
information of the place where I have fixed the settlement 
should go to Port Jackson in time to save the CalciUta, which I 

Settlement of 1803. 79 

entertain a hope may have not yet sailed for England. Should 
I, therefore, have omitted giving your lordship mformation on 
any point, which I may hereafter regret not having sent, it must 
be ascribed to the same cause, and will, I trust, meet with the 
same indulgence from your lordship. 

" On the day following the arrival of the sloop with Governor 
King's last letter, I had the satisfaction of seeing the Lady Nelson 
enter Port Phillip, having on board Mr. Collms and his com- 
panions, who, happily for them, had been directed by me to 
touch, as before-mentioned, at Kents Group, to look for this 
vessel I say happily for them, for notwithstanding the repairs 
I had given the schooner (the Francis)^ she proved so very leaky, 
that she was wholly unfit for proceeding on the service upon 
which I had sent her. Mr. Collins, therefore, very prudently dis- 
missed her to Port Jackson, and proceeded to the examination 
of Port Dalrymple in the Lady Nelson. 

" I have the honour to remain, with every sentiment of the 
highest respect, my lord, 

" Tour lordship's most obedient, very humble servant, 

"David Collins." 

" It is pleasant to record, that, while so many officials took 
such gloomy views of Port Phillip, a lady had a kind word for 
the place. In a letter written to her sister by Mrs. Hopley, this 
bright and hopeful correspondent said : — 

" We arrived in October, 1803. My pen is not able to describe 
half the beauties of that dehghtful spot. We were four months 
there. Much to my mortification, as well as loss, we were obliged 
to abandon the settlement, through the whim and caprice of the 
Lieutenant-Governor. Additional expense to Government, and 
additional loss of individuals, were incurred by removing to Van 
Diemen's Land, which can never be made to answer. Port 
PhiUip is my favourite, and has my warmest wishes. During 
the time we were there, I never felt one ache or pain, and I 
parted with it with more regret than I did my native land." 


After the retreat of Colonel Collins in 1804, the land had 
rest for twenty years. Excepting a call for wood and water by 
passing vessels, and occasional visits of sealers and whalers, 
Europeans left the Fort Phillip blacks, and their white friend 
Buckley, in peace. 

The next interruption came not in the neighbourhood of 
Port Phillip, but of Western Port. As in the other case, 
exploration preceded settlement. 



This time we have not to trace the steps of sailors, but of 
landsmen ; and not to record the revelations of a coast-line, but 
an overland journey across the territory of Port Phillip. This 
was accomplished by Messrs. Hume and Hovell in 1824-5. 

No exploration exercised such an influence upon the settlement 
of Port Phillip, as that undertaken by these two gentlemen from 
the Sydney side of the colony. It induced the Government 
to form a convict settlement in 1826 at Western Port, which, 
though ultimately abandoned, lasted longer than the one 
established just inside of Port Phillip Heads in 1803. 

But it was that exploration which was the immediate cause 
of the permanent settlement of the country in 1835. Sturts 
discovery of the course of the Murray, while displacing the 
name of Hume River from the map of New South Wales, 
influenced no one to dw^ell in Port Phillip, though it became 


.^ V 

Hume and Hovell's Overland Journey, 81 

the primary cause of the settlement of Adelaide. On the other 
hand, Hume and Ho veil first announced the character of the 
interior, especially the glorious Iramoo plains, and gave old 
colonists the "first longing after such rich pastures. But it is 
the connection of Hume and Batman, fellow-townsmen, fellow- 
natives of New South Wales, friends as well as neighbours, 
that really brought about the colonization of Port Phillip. 
Hume, in a letter to the author, admitted the fact. Batmsui 
acknowledged the indebtedness. Even others, like Fawkner, 
opposed to Batman, traced their interests in Port Phillip to 
that exploration in 1824. Treating, therefore, of the settle- 
ment of the country, we are interested in everything connected 
with that celebrated trip. 

It may seem singular that so little resulted, after all, from a 
tour which revealed the existence of so much good land, or that 
so long a time was necessary to make known the discovery, or 
sufiiciently to impress men with its importance. But that waa 
a slow age compared with ours, for news travelled in a most 
leisurely manner, and few people went out of their way to hear 
it. Scotchmen, at any rate, were not so go-ahead then, for 
Glasgow had not begun to flourish ; since the Scotmian news- 
paper for 1826 gave the following sketch of the colony for its 
then untravelled readers : — 

" New South Wales, from the latitude of 31*" to 38^ is a 
country possessing, perhaps, as few natural advantages as any 
in the world, except regions of absolute desert, as the Sahara. 
The good soils lie in patches surrounded by sands or swamps ; 
and in other cases enclosed among steep mountains, in situa- 
tions where two-thirds of the value of the crop would be 
absorbed by the expense of conveying it to market. We do 
not believe that the land capable of cultivation occupies one- 
twentieth part of the surface, and of this, one half is probably 
useless from its local disadvantages. The country can never be 
densely populated, and without a dense population society can- 
not reach a high degree of civilization and refinement. The 
situation is evidently one of the worst that could be selected for 
I'riying the foundation of a great and populous Australian empire. 
If such an empire is ever to exist in New Holland, its principal 
seat must lie in some very dififerent part of the continent." 

The writer had no knowledge that even then a noble district 
had been revealed by the expedition of 1824-5. But the 


82 Port Phillip Settlement. 

English opinion of the - wretchedness of that part of New 
Holland could not be worse than that entertained by the 
Surveyor-General of New South Wales, since we find Mr. 
Oxley objecting to the proposed trip of Hovell and Hume, on 
the ground that the region to the southward was "utterly 
useless for every purpose of civilized man." 

Yet the way had been prepared. Some who had ventured 
beyond the limits of occupation were satisfied that sheep and 
cattle might easily procure new and finer pastures. Hume 
himself, as we learn from his narrative and letters, had not 
been idle in the work of exploration, young as he was. Mr. 
Oxley had found large rivers like the Lachlan and Macquarie 
lose themselves in marshes, and was sure of nothing but wastes. 
Mr. Throsby, of Glenfield, who penetrated, in 1821, to the 
south of Lake George, wrote thus of a river he saw running 
westwards : — 

" The general course I prove to be west and west-south-west, 
and from the appearance of the coimtry, I am bound to say that 
the apparently continued chain of high mountains, extending 
from south to north, leaves no hope of a river of any magnitude 
being discovered running to the south-east coast of the country ; 
and it appears to me that these mountains completely separate 
the space between them and the sea from the interior, in which 
direction, I fear, the rivers I have seen run, although each of 
them contains more than double the quantity of water in the 
Nepean at the Cowpastures. As the whole of the rivers take 
the cmirse I have before mentioned, I have small hopes that 
they terminate in any way different from that in which Mr. 
Oxley has aheady ascertained the Lachlan and Macquarie 
to do." 

The earliest notice we can find of the intended journey of 
Messrs. Hume and Hovell is that in the Sydney Gazette, 
Sept. 16, 1824 :— 

" We are happy to announce that a most interesting journey 
of discovery into the interior, in a direction south-west from 
Lake George, is on the eve of departure. Much credit is due 
to the Government, we understand, in promoting, as well with 
its powerful countenance as actual assistance, this desirable 
object; while the individuals by whom it is to be performed 
are entitled to high consideration for the public spirit and 
enterprise which have prompted the attempt." 

Hume and Hovell's Ovsbland Journey. 88 

The part played by the Government was talk rather than 
work. The Qovemor had a grand scheme, which he wished 
Mr. Hume to carry out, but contented himself, at the last, with 
the gift of a couple of charts and a tent, with some few slops 
from the public stores. He was anxious to have the explora- 
tion of the country between the southern settlements of New 
South Wales and the region near Western Port. He expressed 
great confidence in Mr. Hume, and consented that Mr. Hovell 
should be the partner in the expedition. 

Mr. Hamilton Hume was the son of Mr. Andrew Hamilton 
Hume, of the Commissariat Department, who was sent out 
in charge to Sydney in very early days, and whose father 
had been a clergyman in Ireland. Our travellers mother 
was the daughter of the Rev. J. Kennedy, whose vicarage 
was in Kent. Hamilton was bom at Paramatta, in New 
South Wales, June 18th, 1797. His companion, Mr. William 
Hilton Hovell, of Minto, near Qoulbum, New South Wales, 
had been a captain of a merchantman, and arrived with 
his £eimily in the colony in 1813. The two were, perhaps, 
equally self-reliant ; neither was, nor could be, leader, and there 
was evidently from the first a want of sympathy between them. 
Such an alliance could not be pleasant, and the divergence of 
opinion corresponded with the opposiveness of temper. The 
uncongeniality which was apparent in 1824 became painfully 
conspicuous in after life, culminating in attacks through the 
press, especially in 1855 and 1873. 

The party started in October, 1824, dependent on their own 
resources. However much one, at least, was animated by a love 
of exploration, it is su£Scient to say that both were stock- 
holders, and quite alive to the value of good pastures, should 
they be fortunate enough to discover them. They crossed the 
Murray, which they called the Hume, not far from the present 
site of Albury. After naming the Omns river, and the Hovell 
or Tioisden, now known as the Qoulbum, they rounded Mount 
Disappointment, and came to the noble hill Wentworth, called 
after the Sydney statesman, though subsequently known as 
Macedon by Major Mitchell. Piercing the dividing range 
near Eilmore, they reached the plains, crossed the Amdell, now 
the Werribee, and camped at what the natives named Oeelong* 
Whether this was by Port Phillip or Western Port was another 

G 2 

84 Port Phillip Settlement. 

bone of contention between the two travellers, which helped 
to maintain the controversial existence during their route 

The first intelligence of their return was given in the Sydney 
Australian of January 27th, 1825 : — 

" We have just room to announce that Captain Hovell and 
Mr, H*. Hume have returned from their excursion to the south- 
ward. It appears that they penetrated as far as Western Port, 
Bass's Straits, where they discovered a river of considerable 
magnitude. They represent the country from lat. 36° (the 
Suine) to Western Port to be remarkably rich, and much 
superior to the country of Argyleshire or Bathurst (in Nav 
South Wales proper)^ being for the most part open forest 
country, until within seventy or eighty miles of Western Port, 
where it is open plain, sloping gently to the water side." 

This earliest information indicates the mistake of Western 
Port for Port Phillip, and points out, in all probability, Captain 
Hovell as the reporter. Just a fortnight after, another Sydney 
paper gave an extract from the record kept by one of the 
explorers, as it declared it to be. 

The Sydney Oazette for February 10th, 1825, had the following 
from the journal " that was kept by our Australian travellers 
(Messrs. Hovell and Hume) during their late adventures in the 
interior of this unknown and interesting country *' : — 

" On the 3rd of October last, we took our departure from the 
district of Appin, accompanied by six servants, having a supply 
of provisions for sixteen weeks, and proceeded to Mr. Hume's 
station, at Lake George. On the 17th we continued our journey 
in a south-west direction, and the following day passed over a 
fine grazing country, which we named McDougal s Plains, and 
in the evening of the following day we arrived on the banks of 
the Morumbidgee, which we crossed on the 22nd, and continu- 
ing our route to the south-west over an open forest country 
until the 24th, when, finding it impracticable to ascend the 
mountains in front, we deemed it expedient to leave our carts 
on the banks of a branch of the Morumbidgee, with some 
heavy articles and salt provisions we could conveniently spar^. 
It was not until the 29th that we discovered a passage over the 
mountains, which run mostly north and south ; and on the 31st 
we descended this range and arrived at a small river running 
north, which was crossed on the 27th November, and continuing 

Hume and Hovhxl*s Overijind Journey. 85 

^ our route we encamped for the evening about a mile distant 
from another river, of which we ascertained the preceding to be 
a branch, both running in a direction towards the Morumbidgee. 
On the 4th and 5th we pursued our progress over the mountains, 
and in the evening of the 6th we descended into a country of a 
different aspect, being very much broken, and the tops of the 
mountains in a southerly direction being covered with snow (the 
South Australian Alps), which induced us to follow a more westerly 
course : upon this course we continued imtil the 13th, passing 
through an open country well watered by numerous creeks, 
when we resumed our route to the south-west, and proceeded 
imtil the 16th, when we reached the banks of a river situate in 
lat, 36° 15' south. This river, which we named ' Hume's 
River,' takes its rise from the snowy mountains, and is about 
100 yards in breadth, deep, the banks about 10 feet from above 
the level of the water, but apparently overflowed in times of 
flood ; the stream running about three or four miles an hour in 
a west-north-west direction. On the 20'th we crossed the south 
bank of the river by means of a boat made of a few 
sticks and a tarpaulin; and on the 21st we continued our 
journey through a country interspersed with swamps and 
lagoons for about four miles, when we came to a branch of 
the preceding river, which was crossed by similar means, and 
in the evening to another branch of the same river, which 
was forded without difficulty. Our course was still to the 
south-west — forest land abounding in excellent pasturage— until 
the evening of the 24th, when we arrived at the banks of a 
small but beautiful river, which we named ' Ovens' River,' 
about latitude 36° 30', which was forded the following day, and 
pursuing our journey along the base of a range of mountains, 
which mountains we crossed on the 29th, and descended on the 
30th in a fine forest country ; and continuing our journey we 
arrived, on the 3rd of December, at a river in latitude 36° 50', 
which we named * Qoulbum River.* Having crossed Goulburn 
River, we continued our course to the south-west until the 8th, 
when we were obliged to alter to the north-west on account of a 
mountain, which, being covered with low brushwood and scrub, 
we found impassable. On the 12th we resumed our journey to 
the south-west, with an open country in front, and on the 13th 
came in sight of some plains, which had a very superior appear- 
ance to any we had passed ; and on the following day we had 
the pleasure to find our opinions confirmed) as throughout this 
day's progress the land exceeded our most sanguine expectation. 
In the course of this afternoon we ascended a hill, from whence 
we had a very extensive view of as fine a country as we had 
ever seen in any part of the colony, extending from south-east 
to west. We continued our journey in a south and west 

8ft Port Phillip Settlement. 

direction tlirough the same description of country, abounding 
with small rivers and creeks (all running in a southerly direction), 
until the evening of the 16th, when we had the satisfaction to 
reach Western ±*ort, and encamped on the southern point of 
the right bank of the biase at the back of the large island in 
the Bay : from this point a large river, which empties itself into 
Western Port, is seen coming from between a range of moun- 
tains in an easterly direction. There were many other rivers 
which crossed the plain we had passed for the last two or three 
days, which discharged themselves into this ; and we consider it, 
in point of magnitude, to be equal to any hitherto discovered in 
the colony ; but as our provisions were becoming expended, we 
had no time to explore it in the way we could otherwise have 

The great importance of this record rests in its priority. By 
it the respective observations of Hume and Hovell made in 
subsequent years can be satisfactorily tested. Hovell was then 
the superior in position, if not in wealth and bushcraft, and was 
in all probability the writer of this notice in February, 1825. 
There is no mistake here in the announcement of Western Port 
as the terminus, as Hovell had assumed in opposition to Hume. 
Whether the latter was not very confident, or his word could not 
prevail against the opinion of his companion, a navigator, we 
have no means of determining. There was, at any rate, no 
protest from Hume inserted in the Sydney Gazette of the period. 
It seems strange that in his letter to the Monitor, November 26th, 
1826 — elsewhere reported — Mr. Hume makes no reference to the 
difference of view. 

The first edition of Mr. Hume's Statement of Facts appeared 
in 1853, with a Preface by the Rev. W. Boss, of Gk)ulbum. 
The second, in 1873, had Mr. Hume's Preface, in which he says : 
" My motives for publishing a second edition of A Brief State- 
ment of Facts in Con^nedion with my Overland Expedition from 
Lake Oeorge to Port Phillip in 1824 are twofold. First, that as 
the previous edition was exhausted, I might be able to present 
any firiend who should wish for one with a copy of my narrative. 
Secondly, that I might take another and final opportunity of 
assuring the public in the most emphatic way, as I do now, that 
the StatemerU, as originally published, was strictly what it pur- 
ported to be — ^a 'statement of facts.'" The Preface to the 
third edition^ 1874, is not signed, but affirms that " this edition 

HuMK AND Ho yell's Overlakd Journey. 87 

is a literal reprint of the second one." Mr. Hovell's reply is 
called Historical StatefnerUs, 

It is a thankless office to attempt to criticise the statements 
of these two men, who did the public such good service. 
General tradition gives credit to Hume for protesting that the 
waters seen from Qeelong were those of Port Phillip. Mr. 
Labilliere said that the earliest notice ''leaves no doubt that 
the locality was Port Phillip, though the explorers may, on 
arriving at it, have taken it for Western Port" Mr. Gumer, 
in his Port Phillip pamphlet, observes : " When Mr. Hovell 
got to Western Port, he was convinced of the mistake he 
had made." 

Mr. Busden, one of the shrewdest and most painstaking of 
our colonial historical critics, declares that ''to Hume alone 
can be ascribed the leadership and its results ; and it is proper 
to mention that, even while at Gcelong, Hume and Hovell 
differed as to the spot which they had reached. Hume asserted 
that they were at Port Phillip; Hovell that they were at 
Western Port." Captain Sturt's narrative of discover}', written 
before the settlement of Port Phillip, gives Hume credit for the 
right opinion, saying : " After a most persevering and laborious 
journey, they reached the sea ; but it is uncertain whether they 
made Port Phillip or Western Port. Mr. Hume, whose practical 
experience will yield to that of no man, entertained a conviction 
that it was to the former they descended from the neighbouring 
ranges; but Mr. Hovell, I believe, supports a contrary opinion." 
The absence of the islands of Western Port might have assured 
them. Mr. Hume had sought every information before starting. 
His fellow-explorer in New South Wales, Mr. Surveyor 
Meehan, had been with Mr. Grimes in his survey of Port 
Phillip in 1803, and had doubtless fought his battles over again 
with Mr. Hume. 

That the explorer's conception of Western Port was not alto- 
gether received at the time, is apparent in the criticisms of the 
Sydney press. The Australian, in an article written in January, 
1825, extols the country to the skies, particularly with so mag- 
nificent a river. So sanguine is the editor as to the future of 
Western Port and Port Dalrymple, now Launceston of Tas- 
mania, that he quite expects to live long enough to see " weekly 
steam-packets" plying between the two places. The Sydney 



88 Port Phillip Settlement. 


Gazette, of opposite politics to the Australian^ lias quite another 
opinion, saying, February 17th, 1825 : — 

" That Messrs. Hovell and Hume may havQ passed some 
fertile plains we do not attempt to deny — and indeed, who 
can ? But that they encountered the river spoken of in such 
modest terms by our contemporary, as well as ' the beautiful 
tract of country near Western Port,' must be doubted, whilst 
the united authorities of Captain Murray, Barallein, and 
Tuckey go to establish the contrary opinion, in which they are 
supported by the Surveyor-General, who most laboriously 
investigated Western Port so far back as 1805." The con- 
clusion of the writer was that " all idea of ever fixing a 
settlement at Western Port must be abandoned for at least 
another century." 

The Sydney Morning Herald noticing, on April 28th, 1873, 
the recent decease of Mr. Hume and the controversy which had 
taken place, made the following remarks : — ** The reader will 
see that these counter statements may materially affect the 
historical value of the account which has been published by 
some friends of the late fellow-traveller of Mr. Hovell." Other 
expressions following, bearing the impress of a leaning against 
Hume, a reply was sent to the paper by one of Mr. Hoveirs own 
assistants, Thomas Boyd, now 85 years of age, who said : — 

"I was present with Mr. Hume when he discovered that 
river, and when he named it the Hume. . . . Captain Hovell 
is not entitled to be considered even a tolerable bushman, and 
Mr. Hume led him and the rest of us to Port Phillip and back 
again. . . . Only for the bush tact of the * lent * servant, as I 
was termed in Historical Statements, Captain Hovell would 
have perished ; and had anything happened to Mr. Hume, the 
sole chance of saving the party rested with your obedient 
servant, Thomas Boyd." 

Mr. James Fitzgerald, of Glenlee House, near Campbelton, 
another of the 1824 party, had these remarks in the paper, 
May 12th, 1873:— 

"I do most emphatically endorse all that the late Mr. 
Hamilton Hume had reported about his fellow-explorer. As 
regards Captain Hovell's statement of the crossing the river 
Hume, it is at variance with the fact. Mr. Hume got the 
wattles, made the raft, put a tarpaulin round, and then, with 

HuMfe AND Hovell's Overland Journey. 89 

Boyd, crossed the river. As to whom the credit is due for 
successfully carrying out the expedition, I most unhesitatingly 
say that Mr. Hume was the leader, and that during the journey 
he was always in advance of the party, we following his 

It is evident that the press of the day gave that credit to 
Mr. Hume, who was regarded as the explorer par excellence. 
Thus, in the Gazette of September 8th, 1825, is the following 
local : — 

" We are informed that it is the intention of that enterprising 
young man, Mr. Hamilton Hume, to make another tour into 
the interior the ensuing spring, to trace one of the most con- 
siderable streams of the Hume river, which our Avstralian 
traveller crossed in his late . journey to Bass's Straits, as he 
doubts that these streams meet one common fate, as stated in 
the Sydney Gaadte and the Aibstralian a few weeks back." 

On the contrary, he and others fancied the river would go to 
the westward, and perhaps find an outlet as far as Spencer's 
Gulf, in the neighbourhood of the locality afterwards occupied 
by Adelaide. Hume was the man to go, and expected to go. 
One who styled himself " An English Emigrant," wrote to the 
Sydney Monitor^ Novetnber 3rd, 1826, upon this question, 
saying : — 

" I am sorry to learn that Mr. Hume has not yet set out on 
the above-mentioned expedition, as I am strongly of opinion 
from the persevering manner in which he acted on his late tour 
to Bass's Straits, he would, if at all practicable, have fully ' 
ascertained the termination of Hume Biver, whether it is the 
Lachlan Morass or otherwise." 

This impelled the explorer to break silence. He replied to 
the popular expectation. The following letter appeared in the 
Monitor, and was dated from Appin, November 26th, 1826 : — 

'^ On perusing one of the numbers of the Monitor a few 
days ago, I noticed the comments of ' An English Emigrant ' 
respecting Hume River, the Gulf of St. Vincent, and several 
other bays and harbours on this coast. I now beg leave, Mr. 
Editor, to say that in my opinion I have performed journeys 
enough. It is true some persons have profited by my excursions 
into the interior ; but, in general terms, I cannot say I have. 
In the year 1814, accompanied by my brother, I discovered 

90 Port Phillip Settlement. 

that tract of country now called ' Argyle.* I was also there in 
the years 1815 and 1816 ; and, in the year 1817, I accompanied 
Mr. Throsby on his first tour to that part of the country. In 
the year 1818 I again accompanied Mr. Throsby and the late 
Mr. Meehan. Mr. Meehan and myself discovered that beauti- 
ful lake, now called ' Lake Bathurst,' and ' Goulbum Downs.' 
Some time after I conducted Mr. Throsby and Mr. Wm. 
McArthur to the same part of the country. In 1819 I was with 
Mr. Meehan on a tour along the coast from the Five Islands to 
Jervis Bay, and from thence across to Bong Bong ; and in 1821 
I went in the Government cutter Snapper, in company with 
Mr. Berry and Mr. Johnstone, on a survey along the coast as 
far as Mount Dromedary. It was my intention to have set 
out on a tour last summer for the purpose of tracing either 
Goulburn or Hume River, being of opinion those rivers must 
certainly have an outlet on some part of the western coast ; but 
the expenses of fitting out those expeditions are more than my cir- 
cumstances will allow, and on that account I relinquished the idea. 

" I am still strongly of opinion that those streams, at some 
future period, will prove to be the source of some occidental 
rivers yet unknown ; it was also the opinion of our late Governor, 
Sir Thomas Brisbane, that some of the streams crossed by Mr. 
Hovell and myself on our journey in 1824 to Bass's Straits, 
emptied themselves into the Gulf of St Vincent or thereabouts ; 
and the last time I had the honour of seeing Sir Thomas, he 
expressed a wish that some person would endeavour to ascertain 
what really became of the waters running westward beyond the 
Morumbidgee, and between that river and Basses Straits. 

'' Hume River is in lat. SG"" 20', and is distant from the eastern 
coast (Barmouth creek) in a due east and west line 150 miles. 
There is probably four times the quantity of water running in 
the Hume than there is in the Morumbidgee or Lachlan rivers. 
Goulbum River is in lat. 37** 15', and distant from Wilson's 
Promontory in a northern direction about 100 miles ; its course 
is north-west ; the distance from the Goulbum to Port Phillip 
does not exceied 80 or 90 miles. Persons going across by land 
from Bass's Straits would find those rivers much easier crossed 
by keeping on the eastern side of the Snowy or White Moun- 
tains, but the entry in this direction is much higher and more 
broken than it is on the western side. 

"Hamilton Hume." 

One of the stoutest advocates of Hume's priority in the 
exploration of 1824, and of the man generally, wrote to the 
Tas8 Courier of June 11th, 1872, as " Australian " : — 

** Since I wrote last I have been reading Wood's Australia, 
and there I found an answer to my questions. When it 

Hume and Hovell's Overland Journey. 91 

first came out I was too much interested in the unfortunate 
* Burke and Wills ' expedition, and the subsequent explorations 
in search of them, to look much at the first volume, which 
seemed old to me. What I read from ' Kingsley ' was simply an 
extract, but Wood states that both Sturt and Mitchell heard 
sounds resembling the firing of a gun or cannon at a long 
distance, but they were in the desert ; no mention is made of 
Hume hearing a similar sound near the coast. I learn from the 
same author that the River Qoulbum was named the ' Hovell,' 
but had previously been named the Goulbum by Mr. Hume (he 
was always ahead of his party) ; it was changed, I suppose, to 
gratify his associate. But, as I said before, I think its present 
and first name much the pleasanter sounding. Wood is in 
error when he states that there were 'two leaders in that 
expedition,' and he is unjust to Hume when he places his name 
after HovelFs. Hume was sent for by Governor Brisbane, who 
had been recommended to him as a ' marvellous bushman,' to 
undertake the command of a party to be landed at Wilson's 
Promontory, to work their way overland to the settled districts. 
Hume refused, because he would not take the risk of dying on 
an uninhabited coast, which would have been the case had they 
failed to penetrate through the interior. 

" After some trouble and delay, Hume was solicited to choose 
his own route, which was to endeavour to pass from the settled 
districts to the Western Port ; then, if he found the country 
too difficult for him, he* could fall back on his outward tracks. 
The only expense the Government would bear was io find the 
men (very different to the liberal scale upon which things were 
done in Melbourne in 1860). When all things were arranged, 
Hovell asked to be allowed to join the party, and through 
Oxley's influence he was associated with it; the Surveyor- 
General, believing him to be ' a retired sea captain,' thought he 
would be useful in taking the latitudes and longitudes. We all 
know that this was not done ; and of what further use was he 
to the expedition ? He was found in men, but, equally with 
Mr. Hume, had to provision himself and find his own cattle ; 
but in what consisted his leadership ? Truth compels Mr. Wood 
to show that the success of the expedition was due to Hume, 
but he is unjust to Hume when he accuses him, equally witli 
Hovell, of losing his temper at their first contact with the 
mountains. Hume never lost his temper or became dis- 
couraged — Hovell got frightened and wished to turn back; 
Hume insisted on going forward, and searched for a pass, which 
he found. Unpleasantnesses like this were always occurring ; 
at every difficulty Hovell was for returning, at the rivers as well 
as in the mountains. Either at the ' Hume ' or ' Mittai,' I forget 
which, Hovell at first refused to cross, and they agreed to separate. 

92 Port Phillip Settlement. 

"Over the division of the commissariat they had a small 
' set-to/ Having only one fryiogpan in the party, each wished 
to keep it, and in the struggle for possession they pulled the 
handle off. Hovell crossed later, but unfortunately at that 
time there were no blacksmiths in those parts to repair dam- 
ages. Well, it is not quite forty-eight years ago! The fact 
was, Hovell desired lame, but when he joined he had no idea 
what the hardship and privation would be. No doubt he 
suffered, perhaps much more than any other of the party. 
Hume was fearless, and being accustomed to it, knew what it 
was, and the men were cheered by the hope of freedom which 
had been promised to them if successful. If he had never set 
himself up in opposition to Hume, and had not striven to 
appropriate to himself Hume's merits, all his faults would have 
been passed over in silence, for Hume was too good-natured a 
man to take any pleasure in exposing the weaknesses of his 

" Hovell wished the Governor to believe his instructions had 
been carried out to the letter, and the Governor did not believe 
in Port Phillip after its abandonment in 1804. So HovelFs word 
was taken, but, as I said in a former letter, it delayed the 
colonization of Port Phillip for ten years. When Wood wrote, 
he knew that Hume had been proved right and Hovell wrong 
in Port Phillip versus Western Port, but he gives Hume no 
credit. Again, he does not give the true cause why they were 
obliged to abandon their attempt to penetrate the scrub near 
Mount Disappointment; the real reason was that Hume fell 
and severely staked himself. One of the men, in speaking of 
it afterwards, said: 'When our leader got hurt, we got dis- 
couraged and disheartened, and asked to give it up.' Probably 
Wood also knew that Mitchell wrote to Hume, after his return 
from ' Australia Felix,* complimenting Hume on bis charts of 
1824 being ' surprisingly correct,' yet he is silent upon it. These 
details might have been inconsequential had not Hovell nearly 
been the means of robbing Hume of his merits as a success^l 
explorer, and Mr. Wood enters into details of less consequence 
in other explorations. Hume was by no means ignorant of 
surveying; he used to be a good deal with Oxley, and, if I 
mistaJce not, was out with him in one of his expeditions. I do 
not know if any mention is made of it in any of the histories — 
possibly not, on account of his being a volunteer unconnected 
with the Government, as was the case when he went to the 
Darling with Sturt. Here again Mr. Wood is scarcely fair to 
Mr. Hume, contrasting it with the great prominence he gives to 
Hovell in 1824, where the one was a hindrance and proved to 
be wrong, and the other was, by Sturt's own acknowledgment, 
of the greatest assistance, in the very small share of credit 

Hume and Hovell's Overland Journey. 93 

he gives to Hume for the success and safe return of that 

'* Hume was an experienced bushman of many years' standing ; 
that trip was made four years after the one to Port Phillip, and 
it was Sturt's first attempt, therefore he was totally inexperi- 
enced. Hume knew how to manage the natives and to search 
for water, and he knew the habits of the birds, which are the 
best guides to water, especially the waterfowl that take their 
flight after nightfall ; and Sturt naturally relied on his experi- 
ence — one may say truthfully, and Sturt himself, were he alive, 
would not deny it — that he received his first lesson in explora- 
tion from Hamilton Hume. But neither of them depended on 
that trip for their fame ; were it blotted out, they would still 
stand before the exploration world as brave and determined 
men who had sacrificed their health for the benefit of the 
cause ! Some may sneer and say ' they liked it, or they never 
would have done it.' It is easy to say that of anything to which 
we ourselves are not equal. Nevertheless, we honour our great 
politicians, our barristers, engineers, architects, &c., and who 
may say we do wrong, yet they each must have ' liked it,' or 
they could never have become great. But both Hume and 
Sturt were eminently modest men — Hume to a fault — who 
never pushed their claims beyond their merits ; and I say, all 
honour to the men who have faced and struggled to overcome 
difficulties in an unknown country, either for the benefit of their 
fellow-man or for the cause of science, and if they die in the 
struggle, whatever their faults may have been, 'peace be to 
their ashes.' But never was there an exploration made on the 
Australian continent with such grand results in so short a 
time, or with so little expense to the country, as the expedition to 
Port Phillip in 1824, under the command of Mr. Hamilton Hume. 

" Hoping that I have not exhausted your patience with my 
rather lengthy letter, I am, dear sir, yours faithfully, 


Mr. Hume, though married, left no descendants. He de- 
parted this life in April, 1873, aged seventy-six years. 

The two explorers received some compensation for their toil, 
though far less than they expected, or even deserved. A grant 
of 1,200 acres, in that day, meant little more than 1,200 half- 
crowns. Both had gone to great expense in positive outlay, to 
say nothing of loss of time. Hume sold a fine new English 
plough, to add to his fund for exploration. We learn something 
more of their circumstances from a memorial presented by 
Captain Hovell, dated February 1st, 1837, in which he comes 
forward,. like Oliver Twist, for more. 

94 Port Phillip Settlement. 

In this document he sets forth his arrival in 1813 with his 
family. Grants of land were then given in proportion to capital. 
He obtained 700 acres from Qovemor Macquarie, and 500 from 
Sir Thomas Brisbane. The cost to himself of the expedition 
in 1824 was 500/. His 1,200 acre grant, as he said, "sold at 
the price of a dollar per acre, barely remunerated his actual 
disbursements.'' And yet he proudly declared " That although 
at the time your memorialist's discoveries were lightly esteemed, 
his reports being generally regarded as fabulous or exaggerated, 
subsequent experience has abundantly confirmed their accuracy 
and importance." He then mentions the gift of 1,280 acres on 
account of his five months' exploration about Western Port in 
1826. His application for a double portion, made the year 
after, was refused. He now asks for a " free grant of land to 
such an extent as may be deemed a fair equivalent for the 
services he has rendered to the public by his aforesaid 

The interesting part of this memorial may be said to be in 
the information Mr. Hovell gives the Governor about other 
grants for services, and which he hoped might incline his 
Excellency to generosity in this particular case. He instances 
a grant of 10,000 acres to Kent, for the extraction of tanning 
matter from wattle bark; to Macarthur, Jones, and Riley 
10,000 to 15,000 each, for improvements in wool; to Davis 
and Son, 30,000; to Captain Sturt, 6,000. He then adds 
a bit of private history in connection with the grants : — '* To 
ladies," says he, *' on their being married within the colony, it 
was for several years the custom of Government to make free 
grants of land, suited to their station in society, as marriage 
portions, a privilege, however, which was denied to the daughter 
of your memorialist upon her marriage with Mr. William Bradleyf 
a respectable and wealthy native of the colony, on the ground of 
the application being made a few days too late." 

Elsewhere the reader will see a fac-simile letter from Mr. 
Hamilton Hume to the author, with a portrait of the veteran 








I ■ ' ' 

•' i 





This land of misrepresentation, described in a colonial paper 
of May, 1826, as " a country the finest ever seen," turned out 
to be no such paradise. As mentioned in a previous work by 
the author, "Parts clothed with verdure were found beds of 
sand ; districts flowing with milk and honey were discovered to 
be pestiferous swamps, or waterless wastes ; rivers with mouths 
thirty miles wide, sites for farms ; and an enviable expanse dis- 
appear on approach, like the delusive mirage." Mr. Hovell's 
delightful Iramoo Plains and his charming Oeelong were not to 
be seen near his Western Port. Qrand ideas had been indulged as 
to the southern country, and already Sydney and its neighbour- 
hood were held up to scorn by the Sydney press. The Monitor, 
June 23rd, 1826, exclaimed, " We should not be surprised if it 
eventually turn out that we have been settled on the worst spot 
on the island." 

More than twenty years before, a settlement had been con- 
templated by Governor King. In fact, he sent Lieutenant 
Bobbins to report upon the best site. But that gentleman 
returned with the tale that Western Port had no land for culti- 
vation. He ventured, however, to recommend the river 
( Yarra) at the head of Port Phillip as a far better situation. 
Mr. Surveyor-General Oxley, that same year of 1804, had no good 
opinion of Western Port. He said that M. Peron, of the French 
Exploring Expedition, 1802, had a fancy for the place, and 
talked of making there another Pondicherry ; but, observed Mr. 
Oxley, " I rather suspect they found nothing so very inviting as to 
induce them to visit it again.*' It was, however, believed in 


96 Port Phillip SEXTLEafENT. 

1825 that the French had been reconsidering the matter, and 
had serious thoughts of forming a station there. 

The English have been smart enough to be ahead of their 
neighbours on several occasions. They seized the gateway of the 
Red Sea a few hours too soon for the French expedition on that 
errand. They landed a party at Akaroa of New Zealand only 
just in time before the French frigate entered the harbour with 
settlers. And no sooner was there any apprehension of French- 
men coming to Western Port, forming a settlement on I'lsle des 
Fran9ais, now French Island, than the Governor was all astir to 
be first in the field. 

His Excellency could not feel the security of his position 
otherwise than by possession. It was easy, in after years, to tell 
a few adventurers from Van Diemen's Land, seeking a home at 
Port PhiDip, that they had no right there, and that the country 
was under the jurisdiction of New South Wales ; but it was not 
so simple a matter to order away a company of Frenchmen, had 
they dropped upon the location. It was about that same time 
that a similar fear of the French induced the Sydney adminis- 
trators to send off in a great hurry a party to take hold of 
Western Australia, in an occupation of King George's Sound. 
His Excellency, however, was discreet enough to remind his 
chief. Earl Bathurst, that " it would be diflBcult to contend or to 
satisfy any nation desirous of making a settlement on tlie 
western coast, that we have an indisputable right to the 
sovereignty of the whole territory." So it was resolved to take 
the wind out of the French sails by the presentation of that 
substantial argument — Here we are I 

But who could be got to go in such a hurry ? Who was to 
beat up for emigration recruits ? Filibusters were scarcely 
English as an institution. In a convict colony, and in an age of 
simple despotism, such a matter could be easily arranged. 
Soldiers could be sent with a party of convicts, and an English 
frigate could carry them thither. Captain Wetherall, of H.M.S. 
Fly, received orders to convey the whole under the charge of 
Captain Wright of the Buffs, On November 18th, 1826, the 
vessel sailed from Port Jackson, and took sixteen days to reach 
the destined port, now to be gained by steam in little more than 
as many hours. 

At first they occupied Fort Dumaresq, on the east end of 

Thb Western Port Settlement. 97 

PhilHp or Western Island. Afterwards they fixed themselves, 
on December 12th, at a place two miles east of Red Point, not 
far firom the site of Corinella township, nine miles from the 
other spot. 

But they found their settlement had been before settled. 
Those restless or energetic Van Diemen's Land people who, 
less than ten years after, gave the Sydney authorities so much 
trouble at Port Phillip, were already comfortably squatted in 
Western Port It was not so easy to ignore the Port Phillip 
Association of gentlemen, but the company on French Island 
and its neighbourhood were only sealers. Some of them had 
police antecedents which would compel them rather hastily to 
shift their quarters. The others might stay if they liked. They 
were not mere reamers, though hardy sealers; for they had 
made permanent homes, with gardens. We read of one paddock 
having a couple of acres in wheat. 

The sealers, however, would not have been regarded by the 
French, had they come, as British residents. Even a party 
of convicts, so planted down, might not have been thought 
orthodox settlers. The Qovernor, contemplating the formation 
of a settlement by such exiles, had a wholesome fear that he 
might be taking too much upon himself by the transfer of 
prisoners so far from his seat of government. Anyhow, he 
contrived to have an Act passed, August 16th, 1826, which 
authorised him to despatch such persons, who were specially 
confided to his watch and care, to Port Macquarie, Moreton 
Bay, Norfolk Island, or even to Western Port. Thus was that 
assumed difficulty surmounted, and all was en regie. Victoria, 
the proudest of the Australian colonies, seemed in this way 
doomed to have a convict origin. If Western Port colony, 
formed in 1826, had been continued, it would have been the 
mother land of the Port Phillip district, and have tarnished 
the glory of the Gk>lden Land in many eyes. 

But the seeds of decay were conspicuous at the birth. 
Captain Wetherall, with the impulsiveness of a British sailor, 
and the ignorance of a non-agriculturist, had at first pronounced 
a most favourable opinion. '* Nothing," reported he, " can 
surpass the beauty of the situation, or fertility of soil, on which 
the settlement is formed ; water is plentiful.'' He was not 
w^rong in writing : " Of the climate too much cannot be said 


98 Port Phillip Settlement; 

in favour." Yet on the water question arose the manifest 
difficulty. There was no good water, and wells had to be sunk. 
The sealers gave hopes of a stream hidden behind a range of 
hills, and water was obtained from a marsh. But it was con- 
sidered a grand discovery when the coal-beds of the district 
were revealed, and pleasant dreams were dreamed by some who 
saw a Aiture Leeds or Sheffield rise upon those dark strata. 
As was very natural under the circumstances, the new-comers 
were anxious to get rid of the memory of French expeditions, 
and so they changed Isle des Francis into Darling Island, after 
the name of the Qovemor. It is rather odd that the original 
appellation should return in the modem French Island. 

The early trials are noticed in a letter to the Australian of 
January 10th, 1827, from which a few particulars may be 
extracted. The letter was written by one on board the Dragon, 
and is dated December 27th, 1826 : — 

"Captain Wetherall conjectured that he could discern in- 
habitants (on that Phillip Island), and Europeans apparently, 
too; nor was his conjecture unfounded. As the ships glided 
along the land, some men, dressed in seal-skins, and accom- 
panied by a number of dogs, appeared along the shores, and 
shortly after the cheering view of several conical, rudely 
constructed, but possibly not the less commodious huts, half 
hid amongst the prolific honeysuckle, mimosa, and gaudy acacice 
pendukd, which had sprung up there and flourished unassisted, 
and probably as little regarded. Those people, it afterwards 
appeared, were a party of sealers. They had come over from 
Port Dalrymple (V.D.L.), and mustered seven in number. One 
or two spoke of having continued on the island for several 
preceding years. Some black native women, whom they had 
managed to carry oflF from the mainland, lived with them. It 
was round a point of the mainland, distant about nine miles 
N. and E. from the S.E. extreme of the island last spoken of, 
and N. two, or nearly so, from Fort Dumaresq, on Phillip 
Island, where the land appeared to be of the most luxuriant 
description, and from whence the eye might wander undisturbed 
and delighted over some of the most wild and fantastical, rich 
and unstudied scenes of natural loveliness to be found in any 
country, that the New Settlement was determined to be formed. 
The shore at half flood is accessible to boats, and a small stream 
of fresh water runs at no great distance. The soil around the 
settlement for some miles is rich and productive. The timber, 
which is, indeed, in every part of the circumjacent country as 

The Western Port Settlement. 99 

yet explored, not of the most majestic kiud, appears diversely 
scattered about in clumps, and extends in this manner, it is 
imagined, with little variation towards Bass's River, which 
discbarges itself among the flats to the southward of the 
settlement, but continues salt for six miles up from its entrance 
on the eastern shore of Western Port Roads have been already 
cut, and wells sunk in several directions." 

After a further description of Phillip Island, the writer 
continues : — 

"That Messrs. Hume and Hovell (the latter of which 
gentlemen has accompanied the expedition, and intends, it is 
understood, penetrating across a distant range of lofty hills, 
stretching beyond the land to the northward of Tlsle des 
FranQais — Darling Island now, by the by — into the district of 
Argyleshire, which he or they have been pleased to call " the 
Australian Alps ") never were at this particular inlet of Bass's 
Straits is no longer considered problematical, or even question- 
able ; their idea of the situation of the port and circumjacent 
country corresponding more nearly with that of Port Phillip, to 
the westward, than to Western Port. However, their error, 
mistake, or misapplication of names, whatever it may be 
termed, has perhaps led mainly towards the formation of a 
settlement at this very important position in Bass's Straits; 
important, whether considered, as it may at present be, in the 
light of a convenient harbour offering shelter and refreshment 
for shipping, or in process of time as likely to exhibit an 
agiicultural or pastoral country, extending its communication 
with the increasing populous districts to the southward and 
westward of Sydney; and yet Western Port, though easy of 
access, and affording tolerably secure anchorage between Phillip 
Isle to the southward and I'lsle des Franqais to the northward, 
and between parts of the latter and the mainland, labours under 
natural disadvantages, though disadvantages which time and 
labour judiciously disposed may overcome, ITu extensive mud 
flats (which in every part, more or less, wind across its coasts, 
from Cape Schanck on the W., passing N. and E. beyond 
the northern shore of I'lsle des Fran^ais, or Darling Island, 
until they pass the settlement on the east side ; and crossing 
the entrance to Bass's River, which continues salt for six 
miles up, and are lost before arriving at the east passage which 
separates Phillip Island from the main, and is fit only to be 
attempted by small vessels with a leading wind) form a great 
and natural impediment to communication from the harbour, 
and miist infinitely retard the march of discovery and improve- 
ment towards the interior. The difiiculty hitherto experienced 

H 2 

100 Port Phillip Settlement. 

in not being able to procure good fresh water in any consider- 
able quantity forms another very material disadvantage of 
Western Port." 

We thus see that the first published letter from the expe- 
dition to establish a settlement lays down those objections 
which compelled the Government to withdraw the people. 

Captain Wright, the Commandant, held not the optimist 
views of Captain Wetherall, writing on January 6th, 1827, these 
words to the Governor: "The very small quantity of good 
land in the neighbourhood of the settlement that I have been 
able to discover, and the sterile, swampy, and impenetrable 
nature of the country surrounding Western Port, to a great 
extent, lead me to believe that it does not possess sufficient 
capabilities for colonisation on a large scale." As some might 
say, that it would do very well as a place to which convicts may 
be drafted, as a relief to Sydney quarter. Captain Wright adds : 
''The situation is not favourable for a penal settlement." It 
was judged unsuitable to bond and free. 

Mr. Hovell, through whom it was located, was anxious to 
make the best of Western Port, and in no hurry to confess his 
mistake about the identity of Geelong. By further exploration 
he hoped to open up a good back country. At any rate, he had 
no sympathy with the movement to abandon the project. " I 
am not able to judge," wrote he, March 27th, " what quantity 
of land fit for location Western Port contains, but I think unless 
the influx oifree settlers is much greater than it has been there 
is sufficient for some years to come, without calculating upon 
the inexhaustible tract of fine country lying north of this, and to 
which there is an easy communication from Snapper River.*' 

In his report to Governor Darling, in April, 1827, he said :^- 

"All the information which has been hitherto ^ven re- 
lative to Western Port has been in a very extraordinary de- 
gree either scanty or erroneous. It was supposed that it had 
no good anchorage anywhere but at a great distance from the 
shore ; it is now found that vessels of two hundred tons can 
approach the spot selected for the establishment within a quarter 
of a mile. It was confidently reported there were no rivers ; we 
now find that, exclusive of Bass's River, there are five 
rivers." After further mention of his own efforts to open up the 
country, the reporter judiciouly remarks : " Nor can 1 conclude 
without expressing my regret, poor as the fruits of my endeavours 

The Western Port Settlement. 101 

may be, that similar excursions had not been made on the occa- 
sion of the settling of Port Phillip (in 1803), in which event I do 
not doubt that the establishment of that place would never have 
been abandoned." 

True enough ; but why, with such a conviction, did he not 
press the Government to undertake that needful excursion^ 
Why did he not, when so near the spot, and when his own 
error had led to a selection of the wrong place, offer to examine 
the country about Geelong or the Iramoo Plains ? Hume was 
far away at Parramatta^ indisposed, after the treatment received, 
to imdertake another expedition; and Hovell would have 
reaped all the glory, becoming, as he doubtless would have done> 
the Founder of Port Phillip. 

It was not so to be. The convict establishment was not to be 
removed from Western Port to Hobson's Bay, or the Geelong 

A correspondent of the Asiatic Journal, for 1827, wrote : — " It 
seems to be generally supposed, and indeed admitted, that Mr. 
Hovell was never at Western Port, and that the place he visited, 
and the description of which he gave for that of Western Port, 
was Port Phillip, to the westward of the former. Mr. Hovell 
accompanied the present expedition, and purposes to penetrate 
across a distant range of lofty hills, stretching beyond the land 
to the northward of Tlsle des Fran9ais (now Darling Island). 
But the range required the bush power and perseverance of an 
abler man than he before opening its gates into the better land 

Captain Hovell had induced the Governor to plant the 
settlement. His own report was accepted by the Governor 
as sufficient reajson to abandon the whole affair. 

General Darling, April 6th, 1827, informed Downing Street 
that he wished for such a location " as a means of facilitating 
the communications between this colony (N.S.W.) and Van 
Diemen's Land." But he was obliged to write : " Western 
Port does not possess the necessary requisites for a settlement. 
I have not found any disposition on the part of the inhabitants 
to settle in that part of the country." He avowed his conviction 
that the reports of the place were decidedly unfavourable. 

The despatch of Lord Goderich, July 19th, 1827, relieved 
him of aU further responsibility; so that he was able to 



102 Port Phillip Settlement. 

announce it, December 24th, 1827, as "authorising me to with- 
draw the troops and persons employed to establish a settlement at 
Western Port in the event of Mr. HovelFs report not proving 
more favourable than that which Captain Wetherall has made/' 
He was satisfied that it " can only be useful when the settle- 
ment of the colony is so far extended to the southward (which 
cannot be the case for a very considerable period of time), as to 
render it desirable to have a port for the introduction of supplies 
for the settlers in that neighbourhood, and the exportation of 
their produce, instead of being subjected to the necessity of 
forwarding them overland to Sydney." 

The officers were glad enough to get orders to leave so un- 
attractive a locality, so far from the pleasures of Sydney. The 
prisoners were glad enough to get away from so dull a place, 
and taste once more the enjoyments of town life. The few free 
settlers drawn thither by business expectations were in an equal 
hurry to be oflF from so disappointing a scene. The sealers, 
Without doubt, were glad enough to be rid of the restraint of 
authority, that they might drop down to their old ways, and 
have no interference with their wild orgies, their lubra stealing, 
and the other advantages of a fr^e existence. 

The oflScial communication, telling the public of the new 
settlement being abandoned, is dated January 23rd, 1828 : — 

"His Majesty's Government considering it inexpedient to 
continue the settlement at Western Port under present cir- 
cumstances, I have the honour to inform you that the Isabella 
(by which vessel this letter will be conveyed to you) proceeds 
thither for the purpose of removing the whole establishment." 

The Commandant of Port Dalrymple (Launceston) had thus 
the intimation that the live stock at Western Port would be 
forwarded to his care in Van Diemen's Land, but that the troops 
and the convicts were to be returned to Sydney. It deserves to 
be remembered that the stock sent from Western Port in 1828 
to Northern Tasmania were, in all probability, the progenitors 
of some that were despatched from Launceston over the Straits 
to Port Phillip seven years afterwards. 

The Sydney Australian of March 7th, 1828, thus notices the 
end of this ill-fated settlement : — 

"The settlement formed toward the beginning of the past 
year at Western Port is now altogether abandoned. The 

The Wbstebn Port Settlement. 103 

Government vessel, the Isabella, has brought away every person 
lately settled there on the Government establishment. For some 
time previously the dryness of the season had rendered water 
extremely scarce ; the fresh water rivulet, in the direction of the 
Battery Point, near which the settlement was in a course of 
formation, as well as a few inconsiderable lagoons in other 
directions, affording but a very scanty and uncertain supply." 

Thus ended the second attempt to colonise Port Phillip. 
Verily, the stars in their courses fought against it. 

It is right to say, however, that the attempts had been made 
by officials, and not by ordinary emigrants. They had been 
under the auspices of (Jovemment, but with convict material. 
Other ventures of a similar kind have met with a like fate. 
King George's Sound settlement was abandoned, and the con- 
victs were vdthdrawn to Sydney after a few months' absence 
from it. Port Macquarie, upon which so many thousands of 
British money had been expended, realised nothing as a perma- 
nent settlement. ISorfolk Island, which had cost even more> 
was abandoned also ; being now merely a retreat for Pitcaim 
Islanders. Moreton Bay, as a penal settlement, may seem to be 
an exception. But as long as it was a Government post, it 
flourished not. In all probability, upon the withdrawal of the 
convict establishment the whole would have caved in, and the 
place been deserted, had not enterprising stockmen taken up 
the Darling Downs, requiring a port for wool export and supplies 
at Moreton Bay. 

There was then something to be read between the lines in 
that final sentence of the article in the Atistralian: — "We 
suspect that England might succeed with advantage where this 
colony has failed.". That meant that Victoria would have to be 
established as a colony by freemen, free emigrants, to be a 

Yet an opportunity had been afforded the New South Wales 
Government for giving prominence to their settlement at 
Western Port, by the infusion of that free blood which had 
raised both Sydney and Hobart Town to wealth and influence. 
But the jealousy of officialdom arrested the wheels of progress. 
The very presence of independent gentlemen, commanding 
capital, was obnoxious, as they might naturally find some fault 
with the administration of affairs, and so cause trouble to the 

104 Port Phillip Settlement. 

authorities. Another probable objection might lie in the fact 
that the application for land came from Van Diemen's Land. 
Already, there had arisen no more good feeling between the 
island and the other colony, than between the Jews and 
Samaritans of old. The island had been a dependency of New 
South Wales, and its Lieutenant-Governor took rank under the 
Sydney magnate, as did the Lieutenant-Governor of Norfolk 
Island. All orders came from Sydney. All questions were 
referred to Sydney. All trials of offences in the island were 
conducted in Sydney. All duties and taxes raised there were 
sent to Sydney; and, as some thought, pretty much spent 

So long as Van Diemen's Land was without free emigrants, 
this state of affairs remained ; but when these came, and they 
were almost all men of some means and education, complaint 
was made. The voice of discontent was heard. The local 
press, bound as it was in those days, would protest against the 
wrong. A demand was made for local administration, local 
management of cash, local freedom of the dominion of Sydney. 
After many meetings, petitions, entreaties, and indignation 
efforts, the English Parliament yielded, and the independence 
of tbe island, though not complete, was proclaimed in 1825. 
Any application to Sydney, therefore, from Van Diemen's Land, 
was expected to be looked at askance, and more particularly 
so if the favour were sought by one belonging to the party that 
had shorn Sydney of some part of its official glory. 

The application for a favour from Sydney authorities, now to 
be noticed, bore the name of G. T. Gellibrand, one of the 
radical reformers of the period, and who had been the leader of 
revolt against the paternal rule of the Governor in Sydney. 

It may be said that the application was early, and before the 
authorities knew what to do, or while hesitating as to their 
movements. But dated on the 11th of January, 1827, just as 
the expedition had got to Western Port, after all arrangements 
had been made for a settlement, and before threatened evils had 
taken shape, the assumed plea for refusal was scarcely to be 
accepted as real. With any sincerity in the action of Govern- 
ment, any positive wish to make a bond fide settlement there, 
one cannot help astonishment at any delay in the acceptance of 
an offer which, to reasonable minds, appeared so advantageous 


f b i:^ .V, . 

A^TOR. ..L/ f. r A 

Wiisons Promontory fi-e^rv Olenivu£ JalanA 

Ccie GleTuue^ Island/ 

The Western Port Settlement. 105 

to the embryo colony, unless private views interfered with such 

The following memorial was addressed to the Oovemoir 
General Darling, from Launceston, January 11th, 1827 : — 

"Understanding that it is your Excellency's intention to 
establish a permanent settlement at Western Port, and to afford 
encouragement to respectable persons to settle there, we beg 
leave most respectfully to solicit at the hands of your Excellency 
a grant of land at that place, proportionable to the property 
which we intend to embark. 

" We are in possession of some flocks of sheep, highly improved, 
some of the Merino breed, and others of the pure South Down ; 
of some pure Devon cattle imported from England, and also of 
a fine breed of horses. 

"We propose to ship from this place 1,600 to 2,000 sheep, 
30 head of superior cows, oxen, horses, &c., &c., to the value of 
£4,000 to £5,000, the whole to be under the personal direction 
of Mr. Batman (who is a native of New South Wales), who 
will constantly reside for the protection of the establishment. 

"Under these circumstances we are induced to hope your 
Excellency will be pleased to grant to us a tract of land 
proportionable to the sum of money we propose to expend, and 
also to afford us every encouragement in carrying the proposed 
object into effect. 

" (Signed) G. T. Gelubrand. 

" John Ba^tman." 

The memorial was respectfully worded ; and, in case one name 
should be somewhat objectionable, on political grounds, though 
not on moral or social ones, the other name, John Batman, was 
set forth as belonging to one who was a native of New South 
Wales, and therefore more acceptable to the Governor of that 

The advantages offered to the uew settlement were just those 
of which it stood specially in need, and could not but commend 
themselves to those who had care of the Western Port scheme. 
Yet this was the reply from Mr. McLeay, the Colonial Secretary 
at Sydney, and dated as late as March 22nd, 1827 : — 

"Gentlemen, — In reply to your letter of 11th January last, 
soliciting a grant of land at Western Port, I am directed by the 
Governor to inform you that no determination having been 
come to with respect to the settlement of that place, it is not 
in His Excellency's power to comply with your request." 

1 06 Port Phillip Settlement. 

This letter of Mr. Secretary McLeay to Messrs. Gellibrand 
and Batman, so lacking in candour, if not civility, may be com- 
pared with the more frank and polite answer returned to an 
application from another Van Diemen*s Land party, Mr. T. 
Smith of Hobart Town, on July 11th, 1826 :— " I am directed 
by the Governor to inform you that there is no intention at 
present of making a settlement at Western Port, but whenever 
there is, His Excellency vnll be disposed to consider your 

As no further notice was taken of the application of Messrs. 
Gellibrand and Batman, and there was no renewal of the same, 
both parties seem to have understood the position. From what 
we know of the energy of the applicants, we may conclude that 
had this application been accepted, a way would have opened 
for the carrying out of their enterprise. The heights that had 
repelled Mr. Hovell would not have daunted a better bushman, 
and a way would have been found to the fair plains of Iramoo, 
or to those rich pastures afterwards revealed to the north-east 
of Western Port. The settlement would have been made a 
success, though its head-quarters might have to be shifted to 
a more suitable harbour. 

It is not a little curious that Messrs. Gellibrand and Batman 
applied for the land at Western Port, and not Port Phillip. Did 
they credit the story accepted by Government, believed in by 
the Press, and practically acted upon, that Hume and Hovell's 
Geelong was at Western Port ? It would appear so. And yet 
the protection of British rule, ignored by the same persons 
afterwards in their occupation of Port Phillip, may have in- 
duced them to take this first legal and available opportunity of 
getting on to the other side of the Straits. It was but a year after 
the overland expedition. The judgment of Captain Hovell had 
been preferred to the opinion of Mr. Hume upon the Bay 
question. There had been no time to verify the statement by 
settlement. Up to that moment, also, Mr. Batman had not re- 
visited his native home at Parramatta, and heard from his 
fellow-townsman's lips that version of the tale which subse- 
quently influenced him, and Mr. Gellibrand as well, in the 
adoption of the Port Phillip site. 

Some have thought that the application was rejected because 
a grant of land had been demanded proportionable to the sum 

The Western Port Settlement. 107 

invested. But that rule had heeu long in exercise, both in Van 
Diemen's Land and New South Wales proper. Men showed 
their dollars, their stock, or their stuff, and, according to 
the value of these, received a grant of waste land. The English 
Government continued to act upon the usage even after the 
date of this application from Laimceston. An illustration of 
this is afforded in the story of the colonization of Swan Siver, 
in Western Australia, about the same period. 

A memorial, dated November 4th, 1828, was forwarded to 
H.M.'s Secretary, Sir Qeorge Murray, and was signed by 
Mr. Thomas Peel, Sir Francis Vincent, Colonel Macquean, 
Mr. Schenley, and others. It was a prayer for a grant of land 
on the western coast of New Holland, then wholly imoccupied 
by civilized man. 

The proposition was that the Government allow them laud at 
the rate of eighteen pence an acre, to be paid for in the ship- 
ment of emigrants, to each adult male of whom they would give 
200 acres. Proposing to forward 10,000 persons within 
four years, and estimating the cost of these at 30Z. a head, 
they wanted such outlay to be made up in acres. They stated 
certain objects in view; as, the supply of beef and pork to the 
navy, of horses to the East India Company's forces, with the 
growth of cotton and tobacco. 

The Government reply is dated December 5th, 1828. The 
application was to be entertained, but not on the same lines. 
Land should be allowed at the proposed rate, if passages of 
emigrants were paid by the company, but at 15/. a head, that is, 
200 acres. An additional forty acres would be granted for every 
three pounds invested in stock, &c. On the faith of the 
company carrying out the project, a block of land containing 
250,000 acres was to be set apart for them, though reverting to 
the Crown in case of nonfulfilment of terms within twenty-one 
years. The Ministry agreed on their part that no convicts 
should be sent to the Swan Biver. But they insisted upon the 
appointment of Captain Stirling as the Civil Superintendent. 
As he had been the surveyor of the place, and the promoter of 
the company, he was to receive a conditional grant of 100,000 
acres. Beyond the 350,000 acres, the public would be permitted 
to buy of the Government any land they might require. 

According to the map in the Colonial Office, Captain Stirling 

108 Port Phillip Sbtttlkment. 

would select 90,000 acres near Cape Naturaliste, and 10,000 on 
Buache Island, south of the mouth of the Swan. The company 
were to have their location from the south side of the Swan, 
and east of the Canning river, to the sea opposite Buache 
Island. They took up the country between the Darling range 
and the sea, and from the Swan river to Cockbum Sound. 

The non-acceptance of the original terms left Mr. Peel alone 
to undertake the settlement, as announced in his letter of 
January 28th, 1829. On his landing 400 emigrants, he was to 
be placed in possession of the first instalment of the grant. 

The Swan River Settlement was to be opened to the general 
public, on land apart from that granted to the projectors of the 
colony, and on similar terms. The regulations, as determined 
in January, 1829, were the following : — 

"His Majesty's Government do not intend to incur any 
expense in conveying settlers to the new colony on the Swan 
Kver, and will not feel bound to defray the expense of supply- 
ing them with provisions or other necessaries sGfter their amval 
there, nor to assist their removal to England or elsewhere, should 
they be desirous of quitting the colony. 

"Such persons as may arrive in that settlement before the 
end of the year 1830, will receive, in the order of their arrival, 
grants of land, free of quit-rent, proportioned to the capital 
which they may be prepared to invest in the improvement of the 
land, and of which capital they may be able to produce satis- 
factory . proofs to the lieutenant-Govemor, or other officer 
administering the colonial government, or to any two officers 
of the local government appointed by the Lieutenant-Govemor 
for that purpose, at the rate of forty acres for every sum of three 
pounds which they may be prepared so to invest." 

There is no occasion to pursue the narrative. It is sufficient 
to show that the principle of making grants was recognised by 
the English Government later than the date of the application 
from Messrs. Gellibrand and Batman. 

Some other persons applied for land at Western Port. Captain 
Roberts was willing, in 1827^ to accept of a grant at either 
Western Port or Port Phillip. Mr. T. R. Williams, of Tenby, 
asked for a free grant of '' all that tract of waste, uninhabited 
land, lying around Port Phillip and Western Port up to latitude 
30^ and from longitude 143'' to 146^" This modest demand 
for all the territory up to the Murray River received scant 

The Western Port Settlement. 109 

courtesy from Govemment. The author was informed by an 
old settler that Messrs. Gray, Fielding and Forbes had made 
arrangements as early as 1824 to take over sheep from Van 
Diemen's Land to Western Fort, but the removal of one of the 
parties to England firustrated the design. 

In Haydon's Australia Felix we read : " The original settle- 
ment (1826) must have consisted of nearly fifty houses and 
huts, and the remains of a dam across the creek was still to be 
seen ; but the quantity of seaweed above it showed tjiat at this 
time it was quite useless in preventing the salt water from 
mingling with the fresh." In 1847 one described the brick 
foundations of dwellings, the verandah posts of the Com- 
mandant's house, and the stump of the flagstaff. 



While the expedition of Messrs. Hume and Hovell led to 
the attempted settlement at Western Port in 1826, that of 
Captain Sturt undoubtedly originated the settlement of South 
Australia, and the location of those fair hills seen by the 
explorer to the westward of the Murray mouth. But the influ- 
ence upon the colonization of Port Phillip cannot be overlooked. 
Major Mitchell, whose tale of Australia Felix brought so mauy 
thousands from Britain to Melbourne, followed in the track of 
Captain Sturt to the Murray. 

Starting from Sydney in the middle of December, 1829, 
Mr. Charles Sturt, Captain in the 39th Regiment, followed 
down the Murrumbidgee till, on the 14th of January, 1830, 
he saw it ran into a river which he named the Murray, and 
which he found afterwards to receive the waters of the Darlingf 
discovered by him two or three years before. But he was not 


the first to gaze upon the Murray, as this was but the continu- 
ation of the stream crossed by Hume and Hovell in 1824. 

The ofBcial account of the interesting voyage, down the 
Murray and up again, was furnished by the leader in the 
following letter to the Colonial Secretary of New South 
Wales: — 

''Banks of the Morumbidgee, April 20th, 1830. 

" Sir, — ^The departure of Mr. George M*Leay for Sydney, who 
is anxious to proceed homewards as speedily as possible, affords 
me an earlier opportunity than would otherwise have presented 
itself by which to make you acquainted with the circumstance of 
my return, under the Divine protection, to the located districts ; 
and I do myself the honour of annexing a brief account of my 
proceedings since the last communication, for the information of 

Captain Sturt on the Murray. Ill 

His Excellency the Grovernor, until such time as I shall have it 
in my power to give in a more detailed report. 

"On the 7th of January, agreeably to the arrangements 
which had been made, I proceeded down the Morumbidgee 
in the whale-boat with a complement of six hands, independent 
of myself and Mr. M'Leay, holding the skifif in tow. The river, 
for several days, kept a general W.S-W. course ; it altered little 
in appearance, nor did any material change take place in the 
country upon its banks. The alluvial flats had occasionally an 
increased breadth on either side of it, but the line of reeds was 
no where so extensive as from previous appearances I had been 
led to expect. About twelve miles from the depot we passed a 
large creek junction from the N.E., which, from its locality and 
from the circtimstance of my having been upon it in the direc- 
tion of them, I cannot but conclude originates in the marshes 
of the Lachlan. 

"On the 11th the Morumbidgee became much encumbered 
with fallen timber, and its current was at times so rapid that I 
was under considerable apprehension for the safety of the boats. 
The skiff had been upset on the 8th, and, although I could not 
anticipate such an accident to the large boat, I feared she 
would receive some more serious and irremediable injury. On 
the 14th these difficulties increased upon us; the channel of 
the river became more contracted, and its current more im- 
petuous. We had no sooner cleared one reach than fresh and 
apparently insurmountable dangers presented themselves to us 
in the next. I really feared that every precaution would have 
proved unavailing. against such multiplied embarrassments, and 
that, ere night, we should have possessed only the wrecks of the 
expedition. From this state of anxiety, however, we were unex- 
pectedly relieved by our arrival, at 2 P.M., at the termination of 
the Morumbidgee, from which we were launched into a broad 
and noble river flowing from E. to W. at the rate of two and a 
half knots per hour, over a clear and sandy bed of a medium 
width of from three to four hundred feet. 

" During the first stages of our journey upon this new river, 
which evidently had its rise in the mountains of the S.E., we 
made rapid progress to the W.N.W., through an unbroken and 
uninteresting country of equal sameness of feature and of vege- 
tation. On the 23rd, as the boats were proceeding down it, 
several hundreds of natives made their appearance upon the 
right bank, having assembled with premeditated purposes of 
violence. I was the more surprised at this show of hostility 
because we had passed on general friendly terms not only with 
those on the Morumbidgee, but of the new river. Now, how- 
ever, emboldened by numbers, they seemed determined on 
making the first attack, and soon worked themselves into a state 

112 Port Phillip Settlement. 

of frenzy by loud and vehement shouting. As I observed that 
the water was shoaling fast I kept in the middle of the stream, 
and, under an impression that it would be impossible for me to 
avbid a conflict, prepared for an obstinate resistance. But, at 
the very moment when, having arrived opposite to a large sand- 
bank on which they had collected, the foremost of the blacks 
had already advanced into the water, and I only awaited their 
nearer approach to fire upon them, their impetuosity was 
restrained by the most unlooked-for and unexpected inter- 
ference. They held back of a sudden, and allowed us to pass 
unmolested. The boat, however, almost immediately grounded 
on a shoal that stretched across the river, over which she was 
with some difficulty hauled into deeper water, when we found 
ourselves opposite to a large junction from the eastward, little 
inferior to the river itself. Had I been aware of this circum- 
stance I should have been more anxious with regard to any 
rupture with the natives ; and I was now happy to find that 
most of them had laid aside their weapons and had crossed the 
junction, it appearing that they had previously been on a tongue 
of land formed by the two streams. I therefore landed among 
them to satisfy their curiosity and to distribute a few presents 
before I proceeded up it. We were obliged to use the four oars 
to stem the current against us, but, as soon as we had passed 
the mouth, got into deeper water and found easier ptilline. The 
parallel in which we struck it, and the direction from wnich it 
came, combined to assure me that this could be no other than 
the Darling. To the distance of two miles it retained a 
breadth of one hundred yards, and a depth of twelve feet. Its 
banks were covered with verdure, and the trees overhanging 
them were of finer and larger growth than those on the new 
river by which we had approached it. Its waters had a shade 
of green, and were more turbid than those of its neighbours, 
but they were perfectly sweet to the taste. 

''Having satisfied myself on those points on which I was 
most anxious, we returned to the junction to examine it more 

" The angle formed by the Darling with the new river is so 
acute that neither can be said to be tributary to the other ; but 
more important circumstances, upon which it is impossible for 
me to dwell at the present moment, mark them as distinct 
rivers, which have been formed by Nature for the same pur- 
poses in remote and opposite parts of the island. Not having 
as yet given a name to the latter, I now availed myself of the 
opportunity of complying with the wishes of His Excellency 
the Governor, and, at the same time, in accordance with my 
own feelings as a soldier, I distinguished it by that of the 
' Murray.' 

Captain Stukt on the Murray. 113 

'^ It had been my object to ascertain the decline of the vast 
plain through which the Murray flows, that I might judge of 
the probable fall of the waters of the interior, but by the most 
attentive observation I could not satisfy myself upon the point. 
The coarse of the Darling now confirmed my previous impres- 
sion that it was to the south, which direction it was evident the 
Murray also, in the subsequent stages of our journey down it, 
struggled to preserve ; from which it was thrown by a range of 
minor elevations into a more westerly one. We were carried as 
far as 139° 40' of longitude, without descending below 34** in 
point of latitude ; in consequence of which I expected that the 
river would ultimately discharge itself either into St. Vin- 
cent's Gulf or that of Spencer, more especially as lofty ranges 
were visible in the direction of them from the summit of the 
hills behind our camp on the 2nd of February, which I laid 
down as the coast line bounding them. 

" A few days prior to the 2nd of February we passed under 
some clitfs of partial volcanic origin, and had, immediately after- 
wards, entered a limestone country of the most singular formation. 
The river, although we had passed occasional rapids of the most 
dangerous kind, had maintained a sandy character from our first 
acquaintance with it to the limestone division. It now forced 
itself through a glen of that rock of half a mile in width, 
frequently striking precipices of more than two hundred feet 
perpendicular elevation, m which coral and fossil remains were 
plentifully embedded. On the 3rd of February it made away 
to the eastward of south, in reaches of from two to four miles in 
length. It gradually lost its sandy bed and became deep, still, 
and turbid ; the glen expanded into a valley, and the alluvial 
flats, which had hitherto been of inconsiderable size, became 
proportionally extensive. The Murray increased in breadth to 
more than four hundred yards, with a depth of twenty feet of 
water close into the shore, and in fact formed itself into a safe 
and navigable stream for any vessels of the minor class. On the 
6th the cliffs partially ceased, and on the 7th they gave place to 
undulating and picturesque hills, beneath which thousands of 
acres of the richest flats extended, covered, however, with reeds, 
and apparently subject to overflow at any unusual rise of 
the river. 

*' It is remarkable that the view from the hills was always 
confined. We were apparently running parallel to a continua- 
tion of the ranges we had seen on the 2nd, but they were 
seldom visible. The country generally seemed darkly wooded, 
and had occasional swells upon it, but it was one of no promise ; 
the timber, chiefly box and pine, being of a poor growth, and its 
vegetation languid. On the 8th the hills upon the left wore a 
bleak appearance, and the few trees upon them were cut down 

114 Port Phillip Settlement. 

as by the prevailing winds. At noon we could not observe any 
land at the extremity of a reach we had just entered ; some 
gentle hills still continued to form the left bank of the river, 
but the right was hid from us by high reeds. I consequently 
landed to survey the country firom the nearest eminence, and 
found that we were just about to enter an extensive lake which 
stretched away to the S.W., the line of water meeting in the 
horizon in that direction. Some tolerably lofty ranges were 
visible to the westward at the distance of forty miles, beneath 
which that shore was lost in haze — ^a hill, which I prejudged 
to be Mount Lofty, bearing by compass S. 141® W. More to 
the northward the country was low, and unbacked by any eleva- 
tions. A bold promontory, which projected into the lake at the 
distance of seven leagues, ended the view to the south along 
the eastern shore ; between which and the river the land also 
declined. The prospect altogether was extremely gratifying, 
and the lake appeared to be a fitting reservoir for the whole 
stream which had led us to it. 

" In the evening we passed the entrance ; but a strong 
southerly wind heading us, we did not gain more than nine 
miles. In the morning it shifted to the N.E., when we stood 
out for the promontory on a S.S.W. course. At noon we were 
abreast of it, when a line of sand hummocks was a-head, 
scarcely visible in consequence of the great refraction about 
them ; but an open sea behind us from the N.N.W. ta the 
N.NJE. points of the compass. A meridian altitude, observed 
here, placed us in 35" 25' 15'' S. lat. At 1, I changed our 
course a little to the westward, and at 4 P.M. entered an arm 
of the lake leading W.S.W. On the point, at the entrance, 
some natives had assembled, but I could not communicate with 
them. They were both painted and armed, and evidently in- 
tended to resist our landing. Wishing, however, to gain some 
information from them, I proceeded a short distance below their 
haunt and landed for the night, in hopes that, seeing us peace- 
ably disposed, they would have approached the tents ; but as 
they kept aloof we continued our journey in the morning. The 
water, which had risen ten inches during the night, had fallen 
again in the same proportion, and we were stopped by shoals 
shortly after starting. In hopes that the return of tide would 
have enabled us to float over them, we waited for it very 
patiently, but were ultimately obliged to drag the boat across 
a mud-flat of more than a quarter of a mile into deeper water ; 
but, after a run of about twenty minutes, were again checked 
by sand-banks. My endeavours to push beyond a certain point 
were unsuccessful, and I was at length under the necessity of 
landing upon the south shore for the night. Some small hum- 
mocks were behind us, on the other side of which I had seen 

Captain Sturt on the Murray. 115 

the ocean from our mormng's position; and whilst the men 
were pitching the tents, walkea over them in company with 
Mr. M'Leay, to the sea-shore, having struck the coast at 
Encounter Bay, Cape Jarvoise, bearing by compass S. 81* W., 
distant between three and four leagues, and Kangaroo Island, 
S.E. extremity S. 60'' W., distant from nine to ten. Thirty-two 
days had elapsed since we left the depdt, and I regretted, in 
this stage of our journey, that I could not with prudence 
remain an hour longer on the coast than was necessary for me 
to determine the exit of the lake. 

" From the angle of the channel on which we were, a bright 
sand-hill was visible at about nine miles distance to the E.S.E., 
which it struck me was the eastern side of the passage com- 
municating with the ocean. Having failed in our attempts to 
proceed further in the boat, and the appearance of the shoals at 
low water having convinced me of the impracticability of it, I 
determined on an excursion^along the sea-shore to the southward 
and eastward, in anxious hopes that it would be a short one ; 
for as we had had a series of winds from the S.W., which had 
now changed to the opposite quarter, I feared we should have 
to pull across the lake on our way homewarda I left the camp, 
therefore, at an early hour, in company with Mr. M'Leay and 
Fraser, and at daybreak arrived opposite to the sand-bank I 
have mentioned. Between us and it the entrance into the 
back-water ran. The passage is at all periods of the tide 
rather more than a quarter of a mile in width, and is of suffi- 
cient depth for a boat to enter, especially on the off-side ; but 
a line of dangerous breakers in the bay will always prevent 
an approach to it from the sea, except in the calmest weather, 
whilst the bay itself will always be a hazardous place for any 
vessels to enter under any circumstances. 

"Having, however, satisfactorily concluded our pursuit, we 
retraced our steps to the camp, and again took the following 
bearings as we left the beach, the strand trending E.S.E. \ E. : — 

Kangaroo Island, S.£. ansle S. 60" W. 

Low rocky point of Cape Janroise S. 81° W. 

'Koond hill in centre of range S. 164° W. 

Camp, distant one mile S. 171" W. 

Mount Lofty, distant forty mOes N. 9* £. 

Before setting sail, a bottle was deposited, between four and five 
feet deep, in a mound of soft earth and shells, close to the spot 
on which the tent had stood, which contained a paper of the 
names of the party, together with a simple detail of our arrival 
and departure. It appeared that the good fortune which had 
hitherto attended us was still to continue, for the wind which 
had been contrary, chopped round to the S.W., and ere sunset 
we were again in the mouth of the river, having run from fifty 

I 2 

116 Port Phillip Settlement. 

to sixty miles under as much canvas as the boat would bear, 
and with a heavy swell during the greater part of the day. 

" The lake which has thus terminated our journey is from 
fifty to sixty miles in length, and from thirty to forty in width. 
With such an expanse of water, I am correct in stating its 
medium depth at four feet. There is a large bight in it to the 
S.E., and a beautiful and extensive bay to the N.W. At about 
seven miles from the mouth of the river its waters are brackish, 
and at twenty-one miles they are quite salt, whilst seals frequent 
the lower parts. Considering this lake to be of sufficient im- 
portance, aud in anticipation that its shores will, during her 
reign, if not at an early period, be peopled by some portion of 
her subjects, I have called it, in well-meant loyalty, ' The Lake 

** It is remarkable that the Murray has few tributaries below 
the Darling. It receives one, however, of considerable import- 
ance from the S.E, to which I have given the name of the 
' Lindesay,' as a mark of respect to my commanding officer, and 
in remembrance of the many acts of kindness I have received 
at his hands. 

"Having dwelt particularly on the nature of the country 
through which the expedition has passed in the pages of my 
journal, it may be unnecessary for me to enter into any descrip- 
tion of it in this place, further than to observe that the lime- 
stone continued down to the very coast, and that although the 
country in the neighbourhood of the Lake Alexandrina must, 
from local circumstances, be rich in point of soil, the timber 
upon it is of stunted size, and that it appears to have suffered 
from drought, though not to the same extent with the eastern 
coast. It is evident, however, that its vicinity to high lands 
does not altogether exempt it from such periodical visitations ; 
still I have no doubt that my observations upon it will convince 
His Excellency the Governor that it is well worthy of a closer 
and more attentive examination than I had it in my power to 

" In a geographical point of view, I am happy to believe that 
the result of this expedition has been conclusive ; and that, 
combined with the late one, it' has thrown much light upon the 
nature of the interior of the vast island ; that the decline of 
waters, as far as the parallel of 189'' E., is to the south, and that 
the Darling is to the N.E., as the Mun-ay is to the S.E. angle 
of the coast, the main channel by which the waters of the 
central ranges are thrown or discharged into one great reservoir. 

" Our journey homewards was only remarkable for its labour. 
In conclusion, therefore, it only remains for me to add that we 
reached the depot on the 23rd of March. Our sugar failed us 
on the 18th of February, and our salt provisions, in consequence 

Captain Sturt on the Murray. 117 

of the accident which happened to the skiff on the 8th of 
March; so that from the above period we were living on a 
reduced ration of flour; and as we took few fish, and were 
generally unsuccessful with our guns, the men had seldom more 
than their bread to eat. I regretted to observe that they were 
daily falling off, and that although unremitting in their 
exertions, they were well-nigh exhausted ere we reached the 

** We were trota sunrise to five o'clock on the water, and from 
the day that we left the depot to that of our return we never 
rested upon our oars. We were thirty-nine days gaining the 
dep&t from the coast, against a strong current in both rivers, 
being seven more than it took us to go down. From the depot 
to this station we had seventeen days' hard pulling, making a 
total of eighty-eight, during which time we could not have 
travelled over less than 2,000 miles. I was under the necessity 
of stopping short on the 10th instant, and of detaching two men 
for the drays, which happily arrived on the 17th, on which day 
our stock of flour fSedled u& Had I not adopted this plan, the 
men would have become too weak to have pulled up to Ponde- 
hadgery, and we should no doubt have suffered some privations. 

** This detail will, I am sure, speak .more in favour of the men 
composing the party than anything I can say. I would most 
respectfully recommend them all to His Excellency's notice ; and 
I beg to assure him that, during the whole of this arduous journey, 
they were cheerful, zealous, and obedient. They had many 
harassing duties to perform, and their patience and temper were 
often put to severe trials by the natives, of whom we could not 
have seen fewer than 4,000 on the Murray alone. 

" I am to refer His Excellency the Governor to Mr. M'Leay 
for any more immediate information he may require, to whom 
I stand indebted on many points, and not less in the anxiety he 
evinced for the success of the undertaking than in the promp- 
titude with which he assisted in the labours attendant on our 
return, and his uniform kindness to the men. 

" I have the honour to subscribe myself. Sir, 

" Your most obedient humble Servant, 
"Charles Sturt, 

'* Captain qf the S9th Hegiment, 
**Thb Hon. the Colonial Sbcretary." 

In his work, subsequently published in London, he has this 
story of the Murray discovery : — 

"On a sudden the river (Morumbidgee) took a general 
southern direction, but in its tortuous course swept round to 
every point of the compass with the greatest irregularity. We 

118 Poet Phillip Settlement. 

were carried at a fearful rate down its gloomy and contracted 
banks^ and, in such a moment of excitement, had little time to 

fay attention to the country through which we were passing. 
t was, however, observed that chalybeate springs were numerous 
close to the water s edge. At 3 p.m. Hopkinson called out that 
we were approaching a junction, and in less than a minute 
afterwards we were hurried into a broad and noble river. 

" It is impossible for me to describe the effect of so instan- 
taneous a change of circumstances upon us. * The boats were 
allowed to drift along at pleasure, and such was the force with 
which we shot out of the Morumbidgee that we were carried nearly 
to the bank opposite its embouchure, whilst we continued to gaze 
in silent astonishment on the capacious channel we had entered ; 
and when we looked for that by which we had been led into it, 
we could hardly believe that the insignificant gap that presented 
itself to us was indeed the termination of the beautiful and noble 
stream whose course we had thus successfully followed. 

"To myself, personally, the discovery of this stream was a 
circumstance of a particularly gratifying nature, since it not 
only confirmed the justness of my opinion as to the ultimate 
fate of the Morumbidgee, and bore me out in the apparently 
rash and hasty step I had taken at the depdt, but assured me 
of ultimate success in the duty I had to perform. We had got 
on the high road, as it were, either to the south coast or to some 
important outlet, and the appearance of the river itself was such 
as to justify our most sanguine expectationa T could not doubt 
its being the great channel of the streams from the south-east 
angle of the island. Mr. Hume mentioned to me that he 
crossed three very considerable streams, when employed with 
Mr. Hovell in 1823 (1824), in penetrating towards Port Phillip, 
to which the names of the Goulbum, the Hume, and the Ovens, 
have been given ; and as I was 300 miles fit)m the track these 
gentlemen had pursued, I considered it more than probable that 
these rivers must already have formed a junction above me, more 
especially when I reflected that the convexity of the mountains 
to the south-east would necessarily direct the waters falling 
inwards from them to a commoD centre. 

" The opinion I have expressed, and which is founded on my 
personal experience, that the rivers crossed by Messrs. Hovell 
and Hume had already united above me, was strengthened by 
the capacity of the stream we had just discovered. It had a 
medium width of 350 feet, with a depth of from 12 to 20 : its 
reaches were from half to three quarters of a mile in length, 
and the views upon it were splendid." . . . "I laid it down as 
the Murray River, in compliment to the distinguished officer, 
Sir George Murray, who then presided over the Colonial 

Captain Stubt on the Mubrat. 119 

For this notable work the gallant traveller received the grant 
of 5,000 acres, then only worth five shillings an acre. 

In an evening spent by the author in Captain Start's home, 
among vines and flowers, near Adelaide, in 1850, it was pleasant 
to hear the Murray tale from the lips of the worthy man, then 
almost blind from his terrible sufferings five years before in 
Central Australia. But that which especially moved the 
listener was the declaration of this Hero of Discovery, in the 
presence of his wife and children, while a smile rested upon 
his expressive and even beautiful countenance, that after bis 
many years of exploration in the Australian wilds, exposed to 
so many dangers, not a native man, woman, or child, had ever 
suffered harm from him or any of those under his command. 
With judgment and courage as a man, he had the tenderness 
and Efympathy of a woman, the honour and piety of a Christian, 



When Mr. Wedge, the surveyor, visited Portland Bay, in 
August, 1835, he found, as his sketches prove to us, a perma- 
nent location. There were sheep grazing in the pastures, when 
not a bleater appeared at Fort Phillip ; and several whale-fishing 
stations were seen there, when not an industry had been estab- 
lished at the other bay. 

This priority, by a year, has led many to call the enterprise of 
the Messrs. Henty at Portland Bay the premier settlement of 
the colony of Port Phillip. It must, however, be remembered 
that then Port Phillip had but one meaning — the country about 
the bay of that name. The boundaries of Port Phillip district 
were not determined for some time after Melbourne was settled ; 
Portland and Port Fairy were then independent and outside 
locations of adventurers. 

But Portland Bay was not the first settlement of Port Phillip, 
nor were the Messrs. Henty the first occupants of that bay. 
Sealers had been established on different parts of the coast and 
islands long before, erecting permanent dwellings and cultivating 
the soil. South Australian men date not the rise of their colony 
from the whalers and sealers of Kangaroo Island. Neither did 
Port Phillipians regard Portland Bay settlers as the originators 
of their colony. The selection of a place for the carrying out 
of a private enterprise, as that at Portland Bay, exercised no 
influence in the colonisation of the country. Men knew of it, 
but went not to it. It attracted no attention, aroused no 
inquiry, provoked no followers. 

How different were the circumstances at Port Phillip ! Batman 


'■■" ^f 








NM^. S.S.W. of Tlat toppecb Hill. 



*>f^ jii'-??^pr 


.. ■• "^ 






To iiice^ p 120. 

Entrance to ForUand/ Bay 


.' --rn 

.o \. 

Portland Bay Settlement in 1834*. 121 

went to explore, and to report. He saw, and told the tale. He 
gave wings to his story of the good land by an official paper. As 
be shoxited aloud the news in Fawkner's Launceston Hotel, on his 
return, so did he everywhere extol this land of promise. His 
report was true, and found to be so. Instead, therefore, of one 
or two isolated spots being occupied, as at Portland Bay and 
Port Fairy, there came an immediate precipitation of people at 
Port Phillip, and of a number and character of population 
which compelled unwilling authorities to recognise the fact, and 
constitute a colony. 

The Messrs. Henty had undoubtedly the honour of being 
among the first permanent occupiers of land, which ultimately 
became included within the territory of Port Phillip, but neither 
they nor others settling in the western parts could be deemed 
tjie founders of the colony of Port Phillip. Buckley was an 
older settler than any, but his presence drew no companions of 
his race. The banks of the Yarra, like the banks of the Torrens, 
became the true radiating points for settlement. 

Yet, while not deeming the Messrs. Henty the fathers of Port 
Phillip, we willingly accord to them the full merit of their bold 
deeds. It was a brave thing to do^ that of fixing a home on so 
lonesome a part of the coast, though it had been known and 
peopled before. Their organisation was not only inore complete 
than that of others, but it was more avowedly carried on for a 
settlement, and not as a mere temporary hoisting of sheds for 
whaling purposes. Fishing was undoubtedly their main object ; 
but they had an eye to cultivation, and a determination to utilise 
the pasture. 

More than this, — they gave a proof of their intentions by their 
correspondence with government. They wanted land on this 
coast, and applied for it. Though they excited official dis- 
pleasure by occupying without waiting for official permission, 
they evidenced by that act their sincerity of profession. When, 
ultimately, notice was taken of them, it was long after their 
removal thither ; and it is most probable that not much notice 
would have been taken at all had not the rvsh to Port Phillip 
brought them within the sphere of official observation. 

Altogether, the circumstances attending this Portland Bay 
occupancy are most interesting, and the more so as they are 
seen in the light of subsequent affairs at Melbourne. 

122 Port Phillip Settlement. 

When Mr. Fawkner in 1866 was claiming the right of being 
called the oldest inhabitant, from his coming to Poigt Phillip in 
1803, and the oldest colonist, from his dwelling beside the 
Yarra in 1835, Mr. Edward Henty wrote thus to the Hamilton 
Spectator, December, 1866 : — 

" It is capable of positive proof, from existing printed records, 
that on the 19th of November, 1834, 1 arrived in Portland Bay, 
and, as I have before stated, was living in my own house at that 
setdement long before Mr. Fawkner commenced to build his 
so-called first house in Melbourne." 

The Henty family were of respectable origin in Sussex. The 
father, in his Memorial, discourses of his private affairs. His 
seven sons were worthy of their energetic sire, leaving their 
mark in Western Australia, Van Diemen's Land, Portland, and 
Melbourne. The colonies were the better for their coming; 
for perhaps no family of emigrants did better service for them- 
selves and society. They were Sauls in their day, head and 
shoulders over their compeers. 

Father and sons came out among the herd of deluded ones 
to the Swan River. Government threw open the land there 
in the most reckless way, in liberal acreage for every pound of 
cash or goods displayed. There were soon more landowners than 
toilers, and a fearful collapse, unknown in any other colony, 
crushed the buoyant hopes of the settlers. Affairs must have 
come to a sad state when the Governor, January 10th, 1834, 
issued this Proclamation : — 

"Whereas, the amount of specie at present in the public 
chest is not sufficient for the immediate exigencies of the 
public service; and it has consequently become necessary to 
substitute a paper currency," &c. 

All who could escape left the ill-fated Swan. It has been 
our lot to fall in with a number of such unfortunates, especially 
in Van Diemen's Land, to which so many fled, as to a harbour 
of refuge in the storm. Among these came the Henty family> 
establishing a new home in Launceston. But the dull, tame 
life there, or the associations of a penal settlement, indisposed 
them to remain. They loved the freedom of the wild bush, 
and had the noble ambition, worthy of Elizabethan days, of 
founding an independent home afar from civilised haunts. 

Portland Bat Settlement in 1834. 123 

On the voyage from the Swan, they craised along the shore, 
landing here and there on the way, forestalling in such visits 
both the South Australian and the Victorian. In Fort Lincoln 
and Kangaroo Island, by the mouth of the Murray and Glenelg, 
and beside the waters of Portland Bay and Port Fairy, not less 
than on Eling's Island, would they have found rude settlers of 
the whaling and sealing order, dwelling without law, and with 
few proprieties. Several of these localities offered inducements 
for their own stay, though Portland Bay, even then a great 
resort for whalers, presented most attractions. 

But they knew that such wild inhabitants contemplated no 
permanent occupation, for they held no legal title to their land. 
The Messrs. Henty, who had removed from England to establish 
themselves for life in new homes across the seas, sought some 
fixed tenure in the country they should select, if only for the 
safety of the capital they invested. The earth hunger which 
had sent them abroad was still unsatisfied. They left the 
sterile wastes of Western Australia, believing they could have 
firee grants in a more settled colony. Arrived at Launceston^ 
they discovered to their dismay that the door of free grants had 
just closed. They sought, therefore, the like privilege or an easy 
purchase on another shore, supposed to be claimed by England. 

The appeal to the British Qovemment is one of the most 
sensible and manly ever presented. The story of their misfor^ 
tunes at the Swan is first told. Their observation of the 
southern shore of New Holland is then described. The desire 
of settlement somewhere on that uninhabited coast is expressed. 
They had not fixed upon the locality, but it was to be some* 
where between where Adelaide and Melbourne now are. The 
Land Laws having stopped free grants, and ordained purchase 
at five shillings an acre, the Hentys ask permission to ap* 
propriate on such terms 2,500 acres. Under the special 
circumstances of a new land, they required, on five per cent, 
deposit, ten years' time on interest for the payment of the 
balance. They wanted no other favour. They would put the 
State to no expense for their protection. 

They had precedents for and against their plea. Private 
adventurers had been allowed by the Home Government even 
more favourable terms at Swan River. But the application of 
Messrs. Qellibrand and Batman for land at Western Port had 

124 Port Phillip Settlement. 

been refused. At Swan River, too, the State undertook super- 
vision, and consented to contract responsibilities. The Messrs. 
Henty, on the contrary, thought to facilitate their operations by 
letting the Oovemment feel free from any engagements with 
them. It was a novel application, and one that our Government, 
recognising the interests of any of its subjects, could not possibly 
consent to. 

It is true that even then negotiations had begun between 
the Colonial Office and a certain Association that designed a 
settlement in South Australia, and the British right to that 
region was thus acknowledged But to grant privileges to a 
powerful organisation like that, acting under State authority 
and control, with a governor appointed by the Crown, was very 
different from an allowance of purchase to individuals without 
that authority and control. The possibility must be faced of 
hundreds or thousands of similar applications for purchase, and 
where no jurisdiction did or could exist. To grant the right to 
buy land necessarily presupposes a judicial rule in the district 
so exposed for sale. 

The applicants must have foreseen the fate of the Memorial, 
as they waited for no answer to it, but took measures to sqtuit 
upon the land. Others had done the same before them, though 
not upon the scale they were prepared to do. They trusted to 
the chances of the future. They might be let alone for years, and 
have all that time free grass for their stock, paying no rent for 
their homesteads. They would gather their harvest by sea and 
land so long as they were undisturbed. If by any then un- 
looked-for circumstance the country in which they had located 
themselves should become a colony, they would be in possession 
of the best places, and be the better prepared to buy when lands 
were exposed for sale. 

They delayed no more. The father sent out from Launceston 
two of his sons, equipping them for a whaling establishment ia 
the first place, and afterwards sending stock for wool-growing. 

But we turn now to the Memorial of Thomas Henty, once 
banker at West Fairing, in Sussex, to Mr. Stanley, Secretary of 
State, which shows — 

" That your Memorialist, having a family of e 
youngest of whom is nineteen years of age, was i 

seven sons, the 


years of age, was induced to part 

Portland Bay Settlement in 1834. 125 

with his landed property in England and emigrate to Van 
Diemen s Land, on the expectation of obtaining land under the 
regulations which existed in 1830. On his arrival here, he found 
that the new system of selling lands had in a great measure 
deprived him of the means of providing for his sons in the 
manner he expected and was prepared to do. 

" Tour Memorialist, having thus been shut out of land by the 
operation of the present regulations, has been compeUed to hire 
land in the colony at an exorbitant rent, and is now not so well 
off as he was in England, simply from the effect of the Land 
Regulations at present in force. 

" Your Memorialist, having also suffered most severe and 
unexpected losses at Swan River, humbly submits that the pro- 
position he now makes may receive the favourable consideration 
of His Majesty's Government, more especially as it is founded 
upon the principle of selling land which is now invariably 
adopted in the colonies. 

" Tour Memorialist, with the aid of his sons, has made several 
excursions on the south coast of New Holland altogether apart 
from the settled part of the country. During these periodical visits 
they have found out islands, rivers, headlands, and made various 
other geographical discoveries which have not been laid down 
in any chart or map hitherto published ; he has also ascertained 
that many pajrts of the south coast are faced with land to a 
considerable extent well calculated for sheep, a great portion of 
which your Memorialist conceives can be made available by 
industrious settlers. With this opinion, both himself and his 
sons are desirous of settling on some portion of this country ; 
and without asking or requiring any protection from the Govern- 
ment, or causing it to incur any expense whatever, propose that 
himself and each of his sons be permitted to purchase from 
Government two thousand five hundred acres of land (2,500), 
at five shillings an acre, such land to be selected by themselves 
between the parallels of 135 and 145 degrees east longitude, 
under such restrictions as may be thought necessary. That, 
being the first to settle in the country, greater expenses and 
greater diflSculties will have to be encountered which will 
deprive them of a certain portion of their capital, and this 
capital they will require to enable them to bring the land into 
profitable ctiltivation. On these grounds they ask, on the 
payment of a deposit of five per cent., they be permitted to 
have a credit of ten years to pay the remainder of the purchase- 
money, to be secured by mortgage on the land, bearing interest 
at five per cent. 

♦ " Tour Memorialist respectfully begs further to state that in 
forming settlements in these colonies the settler and aborigines 
have generally come into hostile collision, and mutual acts of 

126 Port Phillip Settleiient. 

aggression have been the consequence. In this respect your 
Memorialist feels himself perfectly safe, four of his sons having 
had considerable experience in the management and treatment 
of the natives at Swan River and King George's Sound, at 
which latter place they are better managed and under better 
control than m most others. 

*' A son of your Memorialist was living within three miles of 
the settlement at King George's Sound between one and five 
years, in the midst of whole tribes of aborigines totally unpro- 
tected, and such was the good feeling kept up between them 
that no instance of misconduct occurred among them; they 
were taught to labour for and earn the food with which they 
were occasionally supplied. 

''The experience thus gained he hopes will be considered 
sufficient guarantee that the same system can be pursued in 
other places, and thus, by proper management, the views of 
His Majesty's Government in establishing a friendly intercourse 
and mutual good feeling with the aborigines on the south coast 
may be facilitated. 

'' Your Memorialist begs further to state that he has an order 
for land in the colony of Western Australia to the extent of 
80,000 acres, and which, should the proposition now submitted 
be acceded to, he will at once abandon ; which will show that 
the object of your Memorialist is not to become a land-jobber, 
but a real and bond-fide settler. 

" Your Memorialist's eldest son is on the point of proceeding 
to England, and will have the honour to lay before His Majesty's 
Government such information as he may possess respecting the 
South Coast of New Holland. 

" Your Memorialist, as in duty bound, will ever pray, etc. 


(Signed) Thomas Hentt. 
" G. J. Henty." 

This is dated February 17th, 1834, seven years after Batman, 
with Mr. Gellibrand, had applied to settle at Western Port. 
Mr. Henty has associated his eldest son, G. J. Henty, in this 
Memorial But his sons Edward and Francis, with other 
brothers following, set off for Portland Bay from Launceston 
in October, arriving at the bay on November 19th, seven 
months before Batman's visit to Port Phillip. 

Before they went, extensive fishing establishments had been 
formed there, as at other points along the south coast of New 
Holland, and at various ports in New Zealand. The Ldunceston 

Portland Bat Settlement in 1803. 127 

Advertiser for July 31, has a reference to the locality afterwards 
adopted by the Messrs. Henty, saying : — 

''The parties stationed at Portland Bay have this season 
(1834) been very successful. Mr. Griffiths* schooner, Mizabeth, 
arrived from the station on Monday last with a few tuns of oil, 
and brings us the news of a great success of the fishery. Mr. 
Sinclair's party have killed thirty-six fish, and Messrs. Hewitt 
and Co.'s., twenty-five fish." 

Subsequently the name of Henty appears in the colonial 
record. Thus, we read in the Advertiser of May 5, 1836 : — 

"The bay whaling at Portland Bay and Port Faiiy has 
commenced with every prospect of a successful season. The 
whaling parties firom this port at those stations, we understand, 
are those of Messrs. Hewitt and Co., Henty's, and John Griffiths, 
who employ in the trade this year upwards of 100 expert 

Who was the first settler at Portland Bay it is not easy 
to determine. It was well firequented even before its supposed 
discovery in 1802. Whaler's Point and Single Comer were well 
recognised in early days. But the first settler known to history 
was Mr. William Dutton, who, after going to Portland Bay 
occasionally as a whaler, permanently established his quarters 
there, erecting a house in July, 1829, and forming a garden. 
But, without doubt, all other establishments were insignificant 
compared with that one of the Hentys, eclipsing, if not sup- 
planting, the rest, as exhibited in the records of Major Mitchell, 
and the sketches by Mr. Wedge. 

Arden's history acknowledges the progress made. We read 
that " 700 tuns of oil had been exported from Portland during the 
season preceding his (MitchelFs) visit, and the shipping employed 
for this purpose, was freighted with return cargoes of sheep from 
Launceston." But Baby and Penny had a whaling station at 
Port Fairy before Henty was at Portland. 

It is not a little singular that Mr. Bobinson, the so-called 
Pacificator of the Tasmanians, wanted to remove his establish- 
ment of natives on Flinder's Island to Portland Bay. He desired 
better hunting-ground for his sable friends, and he believed that 
their removal to the south shore of New Holland, and espe- 
cially to the iVb Man's Land of Portland Bay, would be of great 

128 Port Phillip Settlement. 

use to the aborigines there. His own blacks had been partially 
civilised and Christianised, and might lead the New Hollanders 
from savagedom. Governor Arthur, in a despatch to Mr. Spring 
Rice in January, 1835, wannly recommended the proposal. 

Mr. Edward Henty, in a letter to the Melbourne JSerald, 
November, 1866, gives the following statement : — 

" In a letter to the Herald of the 19th ult., I observe that the 
Hon. J. P. Fawkner, in alluding to the early settlement of 
Victoria, assumes to himself the position of a pioneer, or first 
settler, and states that in October, 1835, he was busy erecting 
on the present site of Melbourne a house for himself, which he 
affirms ' was the only house to be found in Melbourne or in 
Port Phillip, since called Australia Felix, or later still, Victoria.' 
There is no doubt in my mind that the memory of the hon. 
gentleman begins to fail; but, had he kept a journal, and 
referred to it, he must have known that in a newspaper pub- 
lished in Launceston, Tasmania, in October, 1834, a full descrip- 
tion .was given of my departure from Launceston, bound for 
Portland Bay in the schooner Thistle, Liddle, master, with live 
stock, labouring men, farm implements, vines, firuit trees, seeds, 
&c., and every requisite for carrying on agricultural and pastoral 
pursuits. I arrived in Portland Bay on the 19th of November, 
1834, and immediately commenced to cultivate the land, and 
built a house, Richmond Cottage, which is well known, and is 
still standing. Therefore, when the Hon. John was busy 
building for himself a house in Melbourne, I and mv brother 
Francis had been comfortably domiciled in our own liouse for 
neaily twelve months ; and, having finished shearing, were then 
preparing to reap our first harvest on the present site of the 
town of Portland." 

Major Mitchell, in his Overland Journey in 1835-36, came to 
Portland Bay. His remarks upon the establishments there may 
be here suitably introduced. Mr. Henty once told the author 
that the approach of the exploring party gave some anxiety to 
the settlers, from the supposition that they might be coming 
with bushranging intent. The Major's narrative runs thus : — 

" Aug, 29. — The groaning trees had afforded us shelter with- 
out letting fall even a single branch upon our heads, but the 
morning was squally and unfavourable for the objects of the 
excursion, and we had still to ride some way before I could 
commence operations. Proceeding along the skirts of the 
woody ridge on the left in order to avoid swamps, we at length 
saw through the trees the blue waters of the sea, and heard 

Portland Bay Settlement in 1834. 129 

the roar of the waves. My intended way towards the deepest 
part of the bay and the hills beyond it, did not lead directly 
to the shore, and I continued to pursue a course through the 
woods, having the shore on our left. We thus met a deep 
and rapid little river, exactly resembling the Fitzroy, and 
coming also from the westward. Tracing this a short distance 
upwards we came to a place set with a sort of trellis-work of 
bushes by the natives, for the purpose, no doubt, of catching 
fish. Here we found the stream fordable, though deep, a 
brownish granular limestone appearing in the bank. We 
crossed, and then continuing through a thick wood, we came 
out at length on the shore of Portland Bay, at about four miles 
beyond the little river. Straight before us lay ' Lawrence's 
Island,' or rather islands, there being two small islets of 
rock in that situation ; and, some way to the eastward, I per- 
ceived a much larger island, which I concluded was one of 
* Lady Julia Percy's Isles.' At a quarter of a mile back from 
the beach, broad broom-topped casuarijicc were the only trees 
we could see ; these grew on long ridges parallel to the beach, 
resembling those long breakers which, aided by winds, had 
probably thrown such ridges up. They were abundantly 
covered with excellent grass, and, as it wanted about an hour of 
noon, I halted that the cattle might feed while I took some 
angles and endeavoured to obtain the sun's altitude during the 
intervals between heavy squalls, some of which were accom- 
panied by hail and thunder. On reaching the sea-shore at 
this beach I turned to observe the face of ' Tommy-Came-Last,' 
one of my followers, who, being a native from the interior, had 
. never before seen the sea. I could not discover in the face of 
this young savage, even on his first view of the ocean, any 
expression of surprise ; on the contrary, the placid and com- 
prehensive glance he cast over it seemed fully to embrace the 
grand expanse then, for the first time, opened to him. I was 
much more astonished when he soon after came to tell me of 
the fresh tracks of cattle that he had found on the shore, and 
the shoe-marks of a white man. He also brought me portions 
of tobacco-pipes, and a glass bottle without a neck. That 
whaling-vessels occasionaUy touched there I was aware, as 
was, indeed, obvious from the carcases and bones of whales on 
the beach, but how cattle could have been brought there I did 
not understand. Proceeding round the ba^ with the intention 
of examining the head of an mlet, and contmuing along shore as 
far as Cape Bridgewater, I was struck with the resemblance to 
houses that some supposed grey rocks under the grassy cliffs pre- 
sented ; and while I directed my glass towards them, my servant 
Brown said he saw a brig at anchor, a fact of which I was soon 
convinced, and also that the grey rocks were in reality wooden 


130 Port Phillip Settlement. 

houses. The most northern part of the shore of this bay was 
comparatively low, but the western consisted of bold cliffs rising 
to the height of 180 feet. We ascended these cliffs near the 
wooden houses, which proved to be some deserted sheds of the 
whalers. One shot was heard as we drew near them, and 
another on our ascending the rocks. I then became somewhat 
apprehensive that the parties might either be, or suppose us to 
be, bushrangers, and to prevent, if possible, some such awkward 
mistake, I ordered a man to fire a gun, and the bugle to be 
sounded ; but, on reaching the higher ground, we discovered not 
only a beaten path, but the tra(^ of two carts, and while we 
were following the latter, a man came towards us from the face 
of the cliffs. He informed me, in answer to my questions, that 
the vessel at anchor was the Elizabeth of Launceston, and that 
just round the point there was a considerable Arming establish- 
ment belonging to Messrs. Henty, who were then at the house. 
It then occurred to me that I might there procure a smajl 
additional supply of provisions, especially of flour, as my men 
were on very reduced rations. I therefore approached the house 
and was kindly received and entertained by the Messrs. Henty, 
who, as I learnt, had been established there during upwards of 
two years. It was very obvious, indeed, firom the magnitude 
and extent of the buildings, and the substantial fencing erected, 
that both time and labour had been expended in their con- 
struction. A good garden, stocked with abundance of v^e- 
tables, already smiled on Portland Bay ; the soil was very rich 
on the overhanging clifis, and the potatoes and turnips produced 
there surpassed, in magnitude and quality, any I had ever seen 
elsewhere. I learnt that the bay was much resorted to by ves- 
sels engaged in the whale fishery, and that upwards of 700 tons 
of oil had been shipped that season. I was likewise informed 
that only a few days before my arrival five vessels lay at anchor 
together in that bay, and that a communication was regularly 
kept up with Van Diemen's Land by means of vessels from 
Launceston. Messrs. Henty were importing sheep and cattle 
as fast as vessels could be found to bring them over, and the 
numerous whalers touching at, or fishing on the coast, were 
found to be good customers for farm produce and whatever else 
could be spaml from the establishment. Portland Bay is well 
sheltered from all winds except the east-south-east, and the 
anchorage is so good that a vessel is said to have rode out a 
gale even from this quarter. The part of the western shore 
where the land is highest, shelters a small bay, which might 
be made a tolerable harbour by means of two piers, or quays, 
erected on reefs of a kind of rock, apparently very favourable 
for the purpose, namely, amygdaloidal trap, in grounded boul- 
ders. The present anchorage in four fathoms is on the outside 


W llentysJlouee PirtlOMtd 1ia>. b Dri 1635 

T" fkcep IM ifent^ s WTialu^ jPst FortianA Ba^ 

PoBTLAND Bay Settlement in 1834. 131 

of these reefs, and the water in this little bay is in general 
smooth enough for the landing of boats. A fine stream &Ils 
into the bay there, and the situation seems altogether a most 
eligible one for the site of a town. The rock is trap, consisting 
principally of felspar, and the soil is excellent, as was amply 
testified by the luxuriant vegetation in Mr. Henty's garden. 

" Aug, 30. — I proceeded with the theodolite to a height near 
Cape Nelson, and from it I intersected that cape and also Cape 
Bndgewater, Cape Sir William Grant, the islands to the east- 
ward, &c. I here recognised also the high hill which appeared 
withm these capes when first seen from the westward. It 
formed the most elevated part of the Rifle Range at its termi- 
nation on the coast, and I was informed by Mr. Henty that 
there was a fine lake at its base. I named the hill Mount 
Kincaird, after my old and esteemed friend of Peninsular recol- 
lections. Returning to the party at Portland Bay, where I had 
left my sextant, I then obtained a good observation on the sun's 
meridian altitude. I was accommodated with a small supply of 
flour by Messrs. Henty, who, having been themselves on short 
allowance, were awaiting the arrival of a vessel then due two 
weeks. They also supplied us with as many vegetables as the 
men could carry away on their horses. Just as I was about to 
leave the place ' a whale ' was announced, and instantly three 
boats, well manned, were seen cutting through the water, a 
harpooner standing up at the stem of each with oar in hand, 
and assisting the rowers by a forward movement at each stroke. 
It was not the least interesting scene in these, my Australian 
travels, thus to witness from a verandah, on a beautiful after- 
noon at Portland Bay, the humours of the whale fishery, and 
all those wondrous perils of harpooners and whale boats, of 
which I had delighted to read as scenes of ' the stormy north.' 
The object of the present pursuit was ' a hunchback,' and beiog 
likely to occupy the boats for some time, I proceeded home- 
wards. I understood it frequently happened that several parties 
of fishermen, left by different whaling vessels, would engage in 
the pursuit of the same whale, and in the struggle for possession 
the whale would occasionally escape from them all and run 
ashore, in which case it is of little value to whalers, as the 
removal, &c., would be too tedious, and they, in such cases, 
carry away part of the head matter only. The natives never 
approach these whalers, nor had they ever shown themselves to 
the white people of Portland Bay ; but as they have taken to 
eat the cast-away whales, it is their custom to send up a column 
of smoke when a whale appears in the bay, and the fishers 
understand the signal This affords an instance of the sagacity 
of the natives, for they must have reflected that by thus giving 
timely notice a greater number will become competitors ^ the 

E 2 

132 Port Phillip Settlement. 

whale, and that consequently there will be a better chance of 
the whale running ashore, in which case a share must fall finally 
to them. The fishers whom I saw were fine able fellows, 
and .ath their large ships and courageous struggles with the 
whales, they must seem terrible men of the sea to the natives. 
The neat trim of their boats, set up on stanchions on the beach, 
looked well, with oars in perfect readiness to dash at a 
moment's notice into the ' angry surge.' Upon the whole, what 
with the perils they undergo and their incessant labour in boil- 
ing the oil, these men do not earn too cheaply the profits derived 
from that kind of speculation. I saw on the shore the wreck 
of a fine boat which had been cut in two by a single stroke of 
the tail of a whale. The men were about to cast their net into 
. the sea to procure a supply of fish for us, when the whale 
suddenly engaged all hands. 

" We returned along the shore of the bay, intersecting, at its 
estuary, the mouth of the little river last crossed, and which , at 
the request of Mr. Henty, I have named the Surry. This river 
enters Portland Bay in latitude 38"* 15' 43" S. ; longitude (by 
my survey), 141° 58' E. We encamped on the rich grassy land 
just beyond, and I occupied, for the night, a snug old hut of the 

As Mr. Surveyor Wedge visited the establishment a year 
before the major's call, his sketches, here given, illustrate the 
condition of this, the earliest of the permanent locations in Port 
Phillip District. 

The subsequent history of the Henty movement involves 
interestiDg particulars. 

When Mr. Henty sent his Memorial, he did so under cover to 
the Lieut.-Qovemor, Colonel Arthur, who gave a guarded recom- 
mendation. He knew that "Mr. Henty and his family are 
highly respectable," and that they deserve what they ask, " so 
far as it can be consistently given." He would say more for the 
application did it not involve, " in some of its details, an in- 
vasion of the general principles under which lands are sold." 
His Excellency played the same double part, as it was then 
thought, which he did in the case of Batman's Association the 
year after. 

But he was not unmindful of his official self. He is aware of 
the great advantage of extending the growth of wool in New 
Holland, so as to make England independent of Saxony and 
Spain. He sees the prospect of an extension of his own 
authority, in gaining a tributary state for Van Diemen's Land, 

Portland Bat Settlement in 1834. 133 

observing, as to this Portland Bay, already an outpost, "Its 
proximity to Launceston, and the easy communication across 
the Straits, unquestionably point it out as a station of import- 
ance to this colony (V. D. L.), where the available territory has 
already been almost entirely appropriated." He is quite willing 
to go over and report upon the place ; since, says he, " nothing 
could individually afford me greater gratification than being 
instrumental in aiding in the occupation of that part of the 
coast by means which might tend to secure the protection and 
promote the civilisation of the aborigines." 

Yet Mr. Henty was not allowed land at Portland Bay, and 
Governor Arthur failed to gain an accession of territory. 

Correspondence, however, continued ; Mr. Henty took up the 
pen, February 11th, 1835. He reminds the Colonial Secretary 
that he and his fiEunily had explored a good deal in the Straits, 
and especially at Portland Bay, " which they traversed in various 
directions for forty miles." Therefore, "he now submits that 
it would be an act of justice to authorise him to settle upon 
land which he considers to be calculated for the object he 
originally had in view in embarking his property at Swan 
River, viz., the production of the finest kinds of wool. The 
spot he seeks permission to locate himself, family, and labourers 
upon is in a part of Australia wholly unexplored, except by 
himself, at the least 500 miles distant from any other settle, 
ment, and not within the boundaries of the South Australian 
Parliamentary grant." 

Earl Aberdeen, having information of the departure and loca- 
tion of the person who sought " permission to locate," expressed 
his displeasure, on March 19th, 1835, that Mr. Henty should 
have gone over, " aware, as he must have been, when he made 
arrangements for proceeding to his intended destination, that he 
could have no security that his residence there would be per- 
mitted to continue." After this scolding, it was a little comfort 
to read these lines :— 

" I cannot hold out to Mr. Henty the pledge which he requires, 
viz., that in the event of the district in the neighbourhood of Port- 
land Bay ever becoming a permanent colony, they will protect Mr. 
Henty in his rights of settlement ; that is, they will not disturb, 
but will confirm his possessions against any new comer." Then it 
is added, " Although I am not prepared to say that Mr. Henty's 

134? Port Phillip Settlement. 

pretensions to any land, actually brought into cultivation by 
him, and surrounded by a proper fence, would not be favourably 
looked upon by His Majesty's Government at a future period, 
should the increase of the population, or other circumstances, 
extend the settlement of the territory to the quarter where Mr. 
Henty may have established himself." 

It was upon this implied promise that the Messrs. Henty 
claimed compensation upon the organisation of Port Phillip 
colony. The seven sons, variously scattered in the colonies, 
maintained the struggle. But of these Edward was the most 
prominent, as he was the most interested with Stephen in 
Portland Bay trading and pastoral pursuits. He it was who 
took up the wonderful Wannon country, revealed by Major 
Mitchell, and described by him to the Messrs. Henty. He 
fought well and long for his rights, though his prospects seemed 
small after the decision relative to the Port Phillip Association. 
Lord Russell, appealed to, declined to favour the Portland Bay 
squatters, as the Governor, Sir . George Gipps, the supposed 
. antagonist of squatters, gave an adverse report in April, 1840. 

** The Messrs. Henty," said he; " like the first settlers at Port 
Phillip, claim to have rendered good service to the Government, 
and to the colony x)f New South Wales, by opening up a district 
of country which might otherwise have remained unoccupied 
for a number of years ; but so far from considering this any 
advantage, I look upon it as directly the reverse, not only 
because the dispersion of population is increased by it, but 
because, also, we are forced prematurely to incur considerable 
expense in the formation of a new establishment." 

When a land sale was decreed for Portland, it was felt that 
some adjustment must be made. Mr. Henty's modest claim 
for 22,000 acres, mainly on account of his large grant at Swan 
River, which he was willing to surrender, could not be enter- 
tained. After much debate, and not until 1846, a compromise 
was effected. An allowance of £348 was made for improvements 
at the port ; ten acres of town land, at £100 an acre, eighty-five 
acres suburban at £2, and sixty others at £2, made altogether a 
compensation equal to £1,638. 

Poor as this amount was adjudged to be, it was far in excess, 
proportionately, of that granted a few years before to Batman's 

1 K : 

Benty's Whaling Estab^ PorHandy Bay . 


■ ■~'^->»wi»»l(i»«ilJ6«*«fcsi?^,'^, 



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.. '^:.*i» 


I !<"■« 

Tofojcep tS5- 

PortFcdry, hearing N,JS. 

Portland Bay Settlement in 1834. 135 

Port Phillip Association. The want of generosity, in both cases, 
was a wretched economy. Pioneers, such as the Batmans and 
Hentys, whose enterprise had brought in vast wealth to the 
Government, might have been spared the worry and humiliation 
of years of importunate begging, and the colony saved the 
disgrace of neglecting its founders and friends. 


MAJOR Mitchell's DisoovfiBiES in Australia felix. 

The discoveries of this able officer, the Surveyor-General of 
New South Wales, afterwards known as Sir Thomas Livingstone 
Mitchell, have been so extensively published that there is little 
necessity to say here much about them. , It can never be 
forgotten, however, that while the exploration of Hume and 
Howell, in 1824, was the direct cause of the settlement of Port 
Phillip by Batman's Association, the journey of Mitchell over- 
Western Victoria was the occasion of the emigration of people 
from Great Britain to the region he immortalised as Australia 

To him Australia owes a debt of gratitude. In 1831 he 
followed the Peel to the Darling. In 1835 he explored the 
Began and other western districts. In 1836 he revealed the 
wonderful pastures west of Mount Macedon. In 1845—46 he had 
the good fortune to light upon the rich lands of the Balonne, 
Maranoa, Warrego, Barcoo; &c. In October, 1854, though only 
sixty-three, he left us for a nobler sphere of action. It has 
been truly said that " as a parent, a citizen, a gentleman, and 
scholar, he has embalmed his memory alike in the archives of 
philosophy, the annals of colonial history, the hearts of friends, 
and the sanctity of home." 

He bad been sent to trace down the Darling river in 1835, 
and lost his companion, Mr. Cunningham, the naturalist, who 
wa» murdered by the Began blacks. That journey proved, 
comparatively, a failure. Lord Glenelg urged another trial by 
the Surveyor-General It was the end of March, 1836, that the 
expedition left Sydney ; and, after tracking the Lachlan to the 
Morumbidgee, Mitchell came over the Murray river in June. 

Major Mitchell's Discoveries in Australia Felix. 137 

Upon the summit of Mount Hope he gazed upon '' a land so 
inviting, and yet without inhabitants." The Yarrayne or 
LoddoUy the Avoca, the Wimmera, the Qlenelg and other 
streams, were seen. The Dividing Range was crossed and 
re-crossed. The Qrampians were scaled. The Pyrenees opened 
its gates to the traveller. From the summit of Mount Macedon 
(Hume's Wentworth) he looked forward to the Bay of Port 
Phillip, and backward to Mount Alexander. In the middle of 
October he regained the Murray on his return route to Sydney. 

This triumphant march of four or five months was the most 
productive in grand results of any tour in Australia. The title 
engraven upon the brass plate to be worn by Piper, the native 
guide, truly described the major himself, viz. ** The Conqueror 
of the Interior." The colonists of the south applauded his 
enterprise and good fortune. The Sydney Council voted him 
the present of a thousand poimds. The honours of knighthood 
were bestowed by a grateful sovereign. But the chief glory of 
his exploration was seen in the many happy homes he was the 
means of planting in the beautiful Australia Felix, though he 
makes no allusion to the settlers then established at Port 

Major Mitchell's report of his journey to the Colonial 
Secretary is addressed from his camp on the Morumbidgee, 
October 24th, 1836. The part of this report which relates 
to Port Phillip commences from the crossing of the Murray : — 

" We reached the junction of a river which I took to be that 
of the Twisden (or Ooulbum) of Mr. Hume, in latitude 
35** 19' 43" S., longitude 143** 41' 15" E. A clear grassy hill— 
which I named Swan Hill — marks this junction, which takes 
place dose imder it. The banks of this river were so soft and 
steep, and wood was so scarce there, that the cattle could not be 
watered without danger, nor could firewood be procured, on 
one frosty night in particular, when this river unexpectedly 
brought us to a stop, when we had nearly reached the larger 
one beyond, whose whole course was distinguished by lines of 
lofty trees, as on most other rivera These, so distinctly different, 
flowed for many miles very near each other, each river preserving 
the same character throughout. 

" In this vicinity we came upon a very singular formation, 
consistiiig of numerous lakes of salt or brackish water, and 
which were enclosed by semicircular ridges on their eastern 


PoBT Phillip Settlement. 

shores. The largest of these lakes was named Boga, and was 
six miles in circumference. The river floods having reached 
this by a small channel, the water in it was sweet, and it was 
peopled by a very savage tribe, who refused to give us any 
mformation, throwing their spears at Piper, who shot one of 

" Beyond Boga lake we crossed some very fine plains, but the 
main channel of the river we were endeavouring to explore 
was no longer accessible, nor even visible, from the numerous 
branches and still reaches which intersected the alluvial margin, 
which appeared to be very broad. 

" Following the general course of the river, we next entered 
on a tract remarkable for extensive forests of box, with occa- 
sional intervals of open grassy plain. It was watered by 
chains of ponds in deep channels, whose meandering course 
through a perfectly level country seemed to pursue no particular 
direction. From what I afterwards observed on higher plains, 
I conclude that these waters are derived firom the floods of the 
river, and that these, spreading into branches of minor depth, 
thus water the level country. 

" Turning more towards the river, we passed alternately over 
grassy plains, and through belts of lofty gum-trees — the beds of 
broad lagoons. Nearer the river deep reaches of still water cut 
o£f all access to it, so that we could only trace its general course, 
the highest point at which we found it accessible before 
turning south being in latitude S5° 55' 35"" S., longitude 144° 
35' 38" E. 

" The extreme western point of a range then appearing in 
the southern horizon, I proceeded towards it, anxious to know 
more of the country back from the river. The view obtained 
from that summit induced me to direct our course southward, 
with the intention of returning across by heads of the Murray, 
further to the eastward, where I hoped the hills might afford 
me the means of extending the survey across the adjacent 
country. I perceived from the height a distant line of lofty 
trees, which seemed to mark the course of another river; 
beyond were the summits of very distant hUls, verdant plains, 
variegated with clumps and lines of trees extending westward 
to the horizon, the whole seeming good pasture land. 

" At about thirty miles from the hill, and on the 144'' of 
longitude, we reached a deep but narrow stream, flowing between 
high and grassy banks to the westward, at the rate of one mile 
and a half per hour. Its mean depth was nine feet. In one 
night, however, it rose fourteen feet higher, carrying away a 
rough bridge we had just completed. The aborigincd name of 
the river is the Yarrayne (Loddon) ; the plains beyond it were 
five miles in breadth, and of the best description. Forests of 

Major Mitchell's Discoveries in Austraxia Felix. 139 

black-butted mm and casuaiinsB then extended back to the 
mountains and forest hills ; in these forests, instead of novelty, 
we found the Blue Mountain parrot and other birds, common 
near Sydney ; many of the plants also which grow in Cumber- 
land (N.S.W.). 

" Barrabungale, a lofby mountain of granite, was the chief 
point of that range, but, on ascending it, the weather was 
unfavourable for my observations. A group of open forest 
hills were connected with Barrabungale ; they inclosed valleys 
richly covered with grass, and well watered. We passed over 
many fine tracts sheltered by open forest hills, and crossed 
various fine streams, all flowing westward. At length, on the 
11th July, I discerned the summits of a noble mountain range 
of broken and picturesque outline, and by subsequent survey I 
found that this was the predominant feature of that vast 
territory lying between the river Murray and the southern 
coast, giving birth to numerous streams of convenient width 
and constant current, by which the surrounding country is 
watered abundantly. These Qrampians of the south are 
situated between Sff" 52' and 37" 38' of south latitude, and 
between 142"" 25' and 142'' 47' of east longitude, the latter being 
the longitude of Mount William, the highest and most eastern 
summit, and on which I passed a night, vainly hoping that the 
clouds would rise above it. 

''Situated thus centrically, this lofty mass, so essential to 
water the lower country, presents no impediment, like the coast 
ranges of the Settled District, to the formation of roads and the 
progress of colonisation. 

" The principal river, flowing under the north side of these 
mountains, is the Wimmera, which has no steep banks, and 
appears to be a very constant stream. I explored its course to 
the 142"^ of longitude, when it turned to the north-west, leaving 
me in a country covered with circular lakes, in all of which the 
water was salt or brackish. These had semicircular ridges on 
the eastern side as in those of Boga, on the Murray, and the 
land about them was in general very good and grassy, its mean 
elevation above the sea being about 580 feet 

" From the continual rainy weather the earth was in a very 
soft state, and this at length became a most serious impediment 
to the progress of the expedition, the party being unable, even 
with the greatest exertion, to proceed through the mud above 
three miles a day. But for this I might have returned two 
months ago. 

" When we gained the head of a small ravine falling towards 
the principal river, rising in the Grampians, we found firmer 
ground, and our progress was much better, although still 
occasionally impeded by the soft and boggy state of the earth. 

140 Po9T Phillip Settlement. 

" The river, which I named the Glenelg, flows £rst westward 
and then southward, entering the sea at the deepest part of the 
bay between Cape Northumberland and Cape 6ridgewater. I 
explored the last fifty miles of its course in the bogs, having 
left Mr. Stapylton with the depdt, for I had great reason to 
hope that it led to some important estuary. The average 
width was 100 yards, the mean depth four fathoms. In this 
hope I was, however, disappointed, for the river terminated in a 
shallow basin within the sand hummocks of the coast — ^the 
outlet being between two low rocky heads, but choked up with 
the sands of the beach. 

" In the higher part of the Glenelg, the rock over which it 
flows is granite ; but after it passes through a ridge of primitive 
sandstone^ covered with forests of Ironbark, and which form 
there a sort of coast range, the banks consist wholly of a 
secondary limestone. The soft state of the earth had rendered 
our progress by land almost hopeless when I launched the boats 
on the Glenelg ; but on quitting that river with the party, I 
succeeded in re-crossing the Ironbark range with the drays, by 
following up a tributary flowing to the Glenelg from the east- 
ward. The difiSculty of this movement was much increased by 
numerous swampy creeks and swamps which we had to cross. 
The eastern part of that range is highest, and on the higher 
parts where the basis of the soil is trap-rock, the enormous 
^owth and thickness of the trees presented a new impediment 
to the progress of our drays, the fallen timber covering so much 
of the sui&ce. The trees, consisting of Stringybark and Blue 
Gum, were many of them six feet, and some as much as eight 
feet, in diameter. 

'* Beyond this range, which terminates in Cape Bridgewater, 
I^expected to have found some considerable rivers entering the 
sea at Portland Bay ; I found only the Surry, the Fitzroy, and the 
Shaw entering the bay at different points east of the anchorage. 

** On approaching this bay, situated on what I considered an 
unexplored coast, the unwonted sight of houses, and a ves* 
sel at anchor drew my attention. I soon ascertained that 
Messrs. Hentv, from Swan Biver, had formed a whaling and 
farming establishment there. Those gentlemen accomm^ated 
me with a small supply of flour, although the supply for their 
own establishment was nearly exhausted. 

* Portland Bay appears to be a good anchorage in all winds, 
save those from the S.S.E. It is much better sheltered from 
the prevailing winds by the lofty-promontory of Capes Bridge- 
water and Nelson, than any part of Port Phillip is (which 
harbour I reconnoitred from Macedon on the 1st instant), and 
the position of two reefs seem favourable for the formation of a 
SDEiall harbour. 

— lfc^a«siL 

Headland' S. of Fishery . Portland' Ba^- 

r fn p in t hshery ctt- Pardojujl Bcv^ 



/ 1 


,-• " 

Major Mitchell's Discoveries in Australia Felix. 141 

''I Btill entertained hopes of finding a good port on that 
coast, and should have thoroughly examined it for an object so 
desirable to the valuable and extensive territory I had explored, 
but the almost impassable state of the ground, and our very 
limited stock of provisions, confined me to the direct line 
homeward firom Portland Bay, by which I travelled completely 
round the Qrampians, crossed all the rivers, and determined the 
position of the principal heights. I wished much to have 
examined Cadong, which, according to the natives, is a large 
piece of water on the coast, westward of Cape Otway, this 
receiving, as they said, several small rivers, which I saw flowing 
southward, over the plains from the Australian Pyrenees, a 
group of very fine forest hills of considerable height, eastward 
of the Grampians. From one of these I observed the eastern 
shore of a piece of water in the direction indicated by the 

"The country on that coast generally is low, and almost 
swampy ; but the soil is rich, and the climate being sufiSciently 
moist, and water abundant, it appears better adapted for agricul- 
ture on an extensive scale than any other part of New South 
Wales. The soil consists of decomposed trap or limestone, 
these being the rocks immediately below it. The whole of the 
coast country eastward of Cape Nelson is of volcanic formation, 
as many interesting geological phenomena attest; amongst 
others, an extinct volcano (which I named Mount Napier) is 
not the least remarkable, having an open crater, and being 
surrounded with ashes and scoria to the distance of two miles 
around its base. From the fresh appearance of the lava at the 
summit I thought it might have been in activity within the 
memory of man, but I could not find any allusion to fire in the 
aboriginal name (Murrowan). 

" We encountered much soft ground near Mount Napier, and 
by the time the party attained the southern extremity of the 
Grampians, most of the cattle were exhausted, and one poor 
animiJ died in the shafts. Some weeks of repose were absolutely 
necessary, and this our stock of provisions did not admit of; on 
the contrary, I could only hope that they would last to the end 
of the journey, by aUowing the men a very reduced ration. 

"Having some spare cattle, I decided on proceeding in 
advance with a light party and a month's provisions, leaving 
the rest to refresh for two weeks, with a party under Mr. 
Stapylton, whom I provided with two months provisions, that 
he might at the end of two weeks follow my track at leisure 
throu^ Australia Felix. I hoped thus, by proceeding faster, 
to survey and reconnoitre the country with more freedom, and 
also to reach the colony in time to send back a supply of . 
provisions to meet Mr. Stapylton on the banks of the Hume. 


Port Phillip Settlement. 

" My route homeward, from the vicinity of the Australian 
Pyrenees, passed through a country of the most varied and 
fascinating description. At intervals of fifty or sixty miles 
we crossed ranges of granite, through all of which I found 
passes for carts across the lowest parts, hy reconnoitring the 
ranges as far as possible in advance. The districts between the 
different ranges consisted of excellent land, thickly covered with 
the Danthonia grass, and well watered." 

He might truly describe the country as ''a region more 
extensive than Qreat Britain, equally rich in point of soil, 
and which now lies ready for the plough in many parts, as 
if specially prepared by the Creator for the industrious hands 
of Englishmen." 

. L 



John Batman, unlike John Fawkner, was Australian bom, 
A native of Paramatta, New South Wales, he was a genuine 
Cornstalk, Oumsucker, or Currency lad. In visits to Paramatta, 
the author got partially acquainted with the history of the 
Batman race. 

Mr. Batman, senior, established himself at Bosehill, now 
Paramatta. He was of Yorkshire origin. Though so conducting 
himself as to gain the good- will of his neighbours, he appears to 
have had that physical courage, promptitude of action, and 
personal strength, so conspicuous afterwards in his son John. 
As an evidence of this we quote the following story from the 
Sydney Gazette, of December 16th, 1815 : — 

"As three carts were going towards Paramatta yesterday 
eveniDg, three ruffians leaped from tbe Bush, nearly abreast of 
Mr. Wentworth's grounds, towards Blanket Bridge, and passing 
the two hindmost, attacked the one in front, in which was a 
woman and child, and driven by the owner, Mr. Batman, of 
Paramatta, who determined on resistance, and drawing a sabre 
from the vehicle, bravely defended himself. One or two of the 
assailants were wounded, as was also the case unfortunately 
with himself, the woman and child not escaping considerable 
hurt in the afiray, which was put stn end to by the assailants 
retiring of their own accord, praising the courage they could not 
overcome. The other carts had by this time passed by, without 
interference ; but were now in turn overtaken, when one of the 
drivers, whom we believe to be the owner, was robbed of cash to 
the amount of 15Z/' 

It is worthy of remark that the Bev. S. Marsden, chaplain of 
the colony, and resident of Paramatta, came up soon after, and 

144 PoKT Phillip Settlement. 

joined Batman in the chase after the robbers, succeeding in the 
capture of all three. When confined in gaol they attempted 
self-destructiou, by opening the veins of their arms and instep. 
Sui^cal aid came in time, and the men recovered enough to be 
carried to the scaffold. 

Batman and his wife were constant attendants upon the 
ministry of Mr. Marsden every Sunday morning. In the 
evening, when the church was closed, they went to the 
Wesleyan Methodist service, then conducted by Mr. Leigh, 
under the sanction of the chaplain. Their four children, John, 
Henry, William, and Maria, were brought up in strictly religious 
principles, of the evangelical order, family worship being always 
observed. The New South Wales Magazine of February, 1834, 
has the following obituary notice : — 

'' 29th. — At Paramatta, Mr. William Batman, aged 69 years. 
He resided in the colony 37 years, was highly respected, and 
his loss will be long felt by a numerous circle of friends and 

John's mother was a superior woman in intelligence and 
goodness. She was much beloved by her favourite son, who 
afforded her the means of a comfortable maintenance till his 
own death, which took place three months before hers. We 
were taken to the cottage in which she passed away. Henry 
was associated with his brother in the settlement of Port 
Phillip, becoming chief constable of Melbourne. The other 
son and his family appear to have removed to Kissing Point, 
nearer Sydney. 

The daughter, Maria, married our Paramatta informant, 
Mr. White. At the time of our visit, in 1867, the worthy 
man was sixty-eight years old, having been bom in England. 
His widowed mother became acquainted with a returned 
sergeant of marines from New South Wales, and married him. 
Soon after, she and her little boy went out with him again, in 
the GlaUon, 1802. 

The cottage in which we heard the story of the Batman race 
was in one of the most charming of gardens, full of such mag- 
nificent old fruit trees, as only Paramatta can show in 
Australia. Asking Mr. White how long he had lived there, he 

Life of John Batman. 145 

gave this reply : *' Here I was apprenticed ; here I married 
John's sister; here she died; and here I shall die." Among 
the rovers of Australia — ^a region so provocative of a roving 
life — ^this tenant of one dweUing for over half a century 
cannot be numbered. We know not if he dwells there 

He lost his wife September 10th, 1835. She had been ailing 
since the birth of her first child, called John after her brother. 
Seeing our interest in his tale, and appreciating our efforts to 
do justice to that brother, Mr. White presented us with a book 
wliich had belonged to her. It bore the date of 1832, being 
Life of Ood in the SoUl of Man, by the Rev. H. Scougal, M.A. 
When married, he was twenty-one and Maria was nineteen. All 
their sons had died but one, and a daughter was then living at 
WoUongong. He had received one visit from his brother-in-law, 
when he came for farming implements and other things from 
Sydney, for the use of the Port Phillip Association. Batman's 
daughter, Lucy Lomaz, had also, he said, been to see the old 
home of Paramatta. 

Mrs. Oakes, senior, of Paramatta, gave the author some infor- 
mation about the Batmans, who attended the Wesleyan chapel 
with her so many years. She was then the oldest living 
Australian, having been bom early in 1789. When we were in 
Paramatta last year, we found her bedridden, though sound in 
health. She had just lost her noble-hearted son, killed on the 
steam tramway in the streets of Sydney. 

Another old lady, Mrs. Webb, had a lively recollection of 
Mr. Batman, senior, as she had received a flogging for neglecting 
to take a letter to him. She knew John well, and spoke of him 
as a sharp, lively fellow, with a handsome face, and a very 
flattering tongue for ladies fair, with whom he was a wonderful 
favourite. As some have said that a love affair drove John 
from home to Van Diemen's Land, we may give Mrs. Webb's 
story of the change. He had been apprenticed to a person in 
Castlereagh Street, who was not of very sober habits. The 
house next door had been robbed ; but, while part of the goods 
had been taken out of a well, some had been found on his 
employer's premises. John, it appears, gave some information 
about the articles. This made his position rather uncomfort- 
able, and led to his leaving the town. However, we observed 


146 Port Phillip Settlement. > 

the following notices in the Sydney Gazette, November 17th, 
1821 :— 

" Mr. John Batman, leaving the colony by an early oppor- 
tunity, requests claims to be presented. 

" Mr. Henry Batman, leaving the colony by an early oppor- 
tunity, requests claims to be presented." 

In those days, no one could leave the colony without such 
public notification of his intention. John had been a rover before 
that, having rambled in the Bush of Discovery with his young 
friend and fellow-townsman, Hamilton Hume. On arrival in 
Van Diemen's Land, although favoured with a grant of land, in 
accordance with the rule of the day, it was not long before he 
was recognised as a bold and skilful bushman in a country far 
more rocky, scrubby, and difficult than that he had left Tall 
and stout, with dark curly hair, a fine set of features, a jovial 
manner, and quite a gentleman in bearing and behaviour, he 
became one of the most popular persons in society, msiking 
Mends with all classes. 

But it was slow work tending a few sheep in the wilderness, 
or driving oxen in the plough. The chase afforded some 
stimulus to this man of action, though kangaroo-hunting gave 
insufficient pulsing to his blood. As an explorer of dark ravines 
and rocky precipices, he was fitting himself for more useful 
work, and found it in pursuit of lawless bushrangers, men of 
violence and robbery. Among the most noted deeds of the 
period was his capture of the notorious Brady, the Duval and 
Turpin of Van Diemen's Land. To no other man than the 
intrepid and yet popular Batman would that wounded lion of 
the forest have surrendered, as he said. The air of romance 
has been thrown over some exploits of our hero in that terrible 
time of colonial disquietude. The praises of the Governor and 
the plaudits of the settlers were accompanied by substantial 
proo& of official approval and public gratitude. 

About this period occurred a remarkable incident, particulars 
of which were learned by the author about forty years ago in 
the immediate neighbourhood of the romsmtic adventure, and 
which is thus told from traditional lore by Bichard Howitt, in 
lus work on Australia Felix : — 

^' What an eventful life was that of Batman I His 

Life of John Bathan. 147 

adventures in the woody wilds of Tasmania, previously to his 
settling in Port Phillip, when pursuing the aborigines and the 
bushrangers, would fill an ample volume; and, if agreeably 
written, would make an admirable winter fireside story, He, 
indeed, rendered such valuable service in these vocations to 
the Government, that Governor Arthur promised him some 
boon; not, perhaps, whatever he might ask, as the Arabian 
Genies would have done, but anything in accordance with the 
quality of his public services ; and he did ask something that 
made the Govenor pause and demur. He did not request any 
honourable or lucrative public office, nor that ample breadths 
of fair lands might be accorded him, but what one so free, 
gallant, and fearless should have done : he sued for pardon 
for a fair and youthful dame — an outcast and outlaw — whom 
he had met with in the fastnesses of the mountains, and secluded 
in the solitary woods — too interesting a bushranger to be readily 
delivered by him up to the public authorities. It is said that 
she attended him, as Kaled did Lara, in male habiliments, and 
that she was secreted at times at his country location under- 
ground. What kind of bower he made for this fair Rosamond 
I know not, nor by what clue he found her. He loved her well, 
perhaps wisely, and such grace found, after some delays, his 
intercessions, that she was pardoned, and became his wife. 
Prosperity brightened before them and their afifections. They 
were amongst the earliest settlers in the new and then not 
far explored region of Australia Felix ; and the hill where 
they resided near Melbourne — and a beautiful hill it is, graced 
sweetly with Shiac trees — is still called by his name, i have 
been told by a person who attended the small, low-roofed 
wooden church, in the early days of Port Phillip, that to see 
the Batman family — not a small one-^and the parents, and 
children of various heights and ages, all marching in order, all 
graceful figures, with open, healthfully blooming countenances — 
was a most beautiful sight. A spectacle that was no doubt 
additionally interesting from what there was romantic in their 

John Batman was settled at Kingston, not far from the 
present Tasmanian Gold Fields of Fingal district. It was near 
the musical ripplings of Avoca, the meeting of waters. Silurian 
rocks were there fantastically tilted by the irruption of granite 
floods, while subsequent invasions of lava gave material for that 
richness of soil which makes the country a garden of fertility, 
while the landscape is a paradise of delight. Ben Lomond 
throws up its granite head 5,000 feet, adding the elements of 
strength and grandeur to the Claude-like sweetness and tender- 

h 2 

148 Port Phillip Settlement. 

ness of this Vale of Avoca. After the author had ascended the 
majestic pile, he slept that night in a mountain hut, where, 
surrounded by kangaroo hunters, shepherds, and stray bush- 
men, he heard bushranging yams, and tales of John Batman 
the bold. 

Kingston Estate, some seven or eight thousand acres in 
extent, was situated on the Ben Lomond rivulet, about seven 
miles from the charming residence of Batman's friend, Simeon 
Lord, Esq., of Avoca. It was during a fortnight's sojourn at 
that home of hospitality, about 1843, that the author first heard 
some incidents of Batman's career, and was taken to look at 
Kingston. At this moment a letter lies before us, written about 
the sale of that farm, addressed by Mr. Batman to another 
much esteemed neighbour, Major Gray of Bochford. From 
Avoca did we make our own ascent of Ben Lomond. The story 
of an ascent nine years before by the Batman family, aa told 
by Mr. Sams, Sheriff of Launceston, is worth repeating here : — 

"At the latter end of the year 1834, the late Mr. John 
Batman, who was then the owner of a very fine estate in the 
colony, "Kingston," near Ben Lomond, a mountain 5,019 feet 
high, invited a party of friends to his house, I being one of 
the number. We then found that preparations had been made 
for an excursion to ascend Ben Lomond, and on the summit of 
that majestic mountain to pass the last night of the year 1843, 
and welcome the sun's rising on the new year. Three or four 
days were to be occupied in the excursion, preparations for our 
comfort and enjoyment having been previously made by our 
kind host, aided by a party of New South WsJes natives, ten 
or twelve of whom had been brought from Sydney by Mr. 
Batman, and were domiciliated on his estate. On the second 
day the party gained the top of the mountain, with the excep- 
tion of Mr. fiatman, who had stayed behind, at a resting place 
two-thirds of the way up, with three or four of his natives, his 
youngest child, and its nurse (all his children, eight in number, 
were of the party), intending to follow us up, after having 
rested a while. When the sun was fast sinking, and we were 
anxiously expecting Mr. Batman, two sable messengers arrived, 
bearing a note from their master to Mrs. Batman, the purport of 
which was to inform her that he had been seized with illness, 
and required her to go to him. Whereupon, Mrs. Batman 
immediately left the party, I accompanying her, guided by the 
two natives, who each earned a fire stick, the night being very 
dark* After a long and perilous descent, we reached the resting 


Life of John Batkak. 149 

place, and there, happily, found Batman coinparatiyely well, he 
having been attacked with cramp in the stomach, which had so 
seriously alarmed him, as to induce the summons for his wife. 
A fire having been lighted at a short distance firom the camping 
ground, where Mrs. Batman, with the child and its nurse, passed, 
the night. Batman and I sat by the fire, whiling the time 
away in conversation on our several prospects in the colony/' 

Batman's life in Van Diemen's Land, though professedly that 
of a farmer, was marked by two important incidents — ^his chase 
after bushrangers in the interests of order, and his pursuit of 
the native blacks in the interests of peace. He sought to 
bring tranquillity to settlers, by the capture of terrorising 
marauders, and to secure safety to the hunted aborigines, by 
gathering them from the forests into a haven of rest. One 
story, connected with the taking of Brady, the Prince of Bush- 
rangers, may be taken from the author's account of Tasmanian 
bushrangers, published very nearly thirty years ago : — 

" But the hour of Brady was come. Constantly harassed by 
assailing and pursuing parties, separated from his dashing band 
of roving horsemen, and disabled by a shot in his ankle, he was 
no longer the proud and chivalrous Prince of Bushrangers, but 
the anxious, suffering fugitive. Amongst those who sought the 
destruction of these troublers of the settlers' homes was John 
Batman, the celebrated capturer of Tasmanian aborigines, and 
afterwards the renowned founder of Port Phillip colony. 
Governor Arthur had great confidence in his prudence and 
judgment, as well as in his energy and courage. Getting intel- 
ligence of the robber's movements, Mr. Batman left his Ben 
Lomond farm and explored the gullies of the Western Tier. 
That wild and romantic country had long furnished a retreat 
to bushrangers. Rising abruptly from the plain, the greenstone 
Dry's Bluff towers 4,000 feet, and is the first of a series of 
elevations in one of the roughest districts in the island for a 
hundred miles. 

" It was amidst such scenes that Batman sought poor Brady. 
One day he spied a man limping along through the bush with 
the aid of a cut sapling. He was evidently in great pain, and 
bore a dejected, careworn aspect. His restless, suspicious eye 
suddenly lighted upon his pursuer. In a moment all anguish 
was forgotten, as, in a loud and decided tone, the word ' Stand 1' 
was uttered. The faltering step was firm, and the old lion 
spirit was roused. The gun was at his shoulder, and his finger 
on the trigger. Before he would fire, however, he called out 
'Are you a soldier officer?' Mr. Batman's frock-coat and 

150 Port Phillip Settlement. 

foraging-cap gave him a military appearance, and Brady had 
an inextinguishable hatred to the red-coated enemy of bush* 
rangers. ' Tm no soldier, Brady/ was the reply. ' I'm John 
Batman ; surrender, for there is no chance for you.' The bush- 
ranger thought for a while, and then said, 'You are right, 
Batman ; my time is come. I yield to you, because you are 
a brave man.' 

f >y 

Yet the true romance of Batman's life was in connection 
with the unfortunate Tasmanian natives. For years he was 
more or less engaged in the celebrated Black War of Van 
Diemen's Land, Though a hunter after the forest men, he 
thirsted not for their blood, but sought their deliverance from 
bloodthirsty foes. Space will not permit discussion upon this 
part of his career, further than to introduce an ancient chro- 
nicle written by his own hand more than fifty years ago. 

Having given the Port Phillip journal of John Batman in 
one chapter of this book, another journal, relative to his great 
work in 1830, can be appropriately placed in the record of his 
life. This journal, never before published, has, like the Port 
Phillip one, been jwreserved by the favourite daughter of the 
founder, Elizabeth, the wife of Mr. Weire, of Geelong. 

In size, seven inches by three and a half, it looks a simple 
xaemorandum-book. On the cover are the words "John 
Batman, Eangston." He was then living on his farm at 
Kingston, under the shadow of the Tasmanian Ben Lomond. 
The diary begins March 3rd, 1830, and closes September 28th. 
As the book contained but thirty-six leaves, he appended, by 
a rude attachment, other fourteen leaves. Some memoranda 
of a later date, relative to other matters, appear in odd comers 
and spaces. The handwriting is firm, but hurried. The cali- 
graphy is not bad, but the orthography is peculiar and often 
abbreviated, while capitcJs rarely begin the day's record. 

The journal exhibits the character of the man in a favourable 
light. Commissioned by Qovernment, he sought the capture 
of the unhappy Tasmanian natives, then in open war with 
soldiers, constables, and settlers. A handful of naked savages, 
enraged at their cruel treatment, and despairing of redress, 
they kept the whole island in constant alarm. So great was 
the terror, that thousands of persons were at one time in arms 
against them, while they, with only wooden spears, counted less 

V Life of John Batman. 151 

than as many hundreds. Efforts were made, in the interests of 
justice and mercy, to persuade the wanderers to yield, so as 
to be protected by the Governor. Gilbert Robertson, Q. A. 
Kobinson, and John Batman were the men sent out in humane 

Batman had before this gained the goodwill of the tribe 
living near him, and so obtained native aid in his object; 
supplemented, later on, by the auxiliary of Sydney blacks. 
The journal was kept in one of his hunting tours, and was 
as follows : — 

"1830, March Srd, Wednesday, — Started this morning and 
crossed the hills to the South Esk, and stopped for the night. 
1 received information the natives crossed the S. Esk. 

" Thursday y 4ith. — Crossed the South Esk and beating through 
the Tiers on the east side. Stopped for the night on a small 
creek of water. Walked about 20 miles, &c. A little rain 
the morning. 

"Friday, 5th, — This morning, when getting breakfast, was 
disturbed by the barking of dogs. Ten of us immediately went 
towards the place, at about a mile from our hut. We at last 
see four dogs. I then advised the party to surround the hill, 
which was done. We again see the dogs. They kept barking 
at us and running away ; at last made into a thick scrub. I 
now thought that they were dogs that had lost the natives a 
few days back. We came back again to the hut, and the two 
men in charge heard two or three dogs more round the hut 
during our absence. I expect the natives are in this quarter. 
Crossed the Tiers (hills) towards Boss and Campbell Town; 
made a splitter's hut at about 2 P.M. A single woman and 
man live here. It now began to rain very hard. We com- 
menced a hut for the night. Kained all the evening* These 
people could give us no information respecting the natives. 
Walked about 12 miles to-day. 

"Saturday, 6 March. — Started this morning about 8 AJI, 
Bained heavy the whole of last night ; got very wet. Looks 
likely for rain. Cleared up about 10 A.M. Scouring the hills 
in the front of Campbell Town, and made to Stain's hut. I 
went to Campbell Town to get information; walked about 
16 miles. 

" Sunday, 7 March, 1830. — Men at Stain's hut all day. Got 
55 lbs. of mutton for them. 

"Monday, 8th March. — Started this morning at 7 A.M., beat- 
ing the hill at the back of Boss, ctnd towards Oyster Bay. 
Crossing the hills all day towards Oyster Bay. Passed several 
large swamps. See a good number of cattle and several native 

152 Port Philj^ip Settlement, 

huts, but not made lately. Stopped for the night near a large 
swamp on a small run of water. Walked about 15 miles ; 
good ground to walk over. 

** Tuesday^ 9 March. — Started this morning at 6 A.M., keeping 
still in a S.E. direction towards the sea-coast. Followed along 
the marked trees for a few miles, then turned round a hill. 
Here we found a kangaroo hid in a hollow tree ; appeared to 
have been there 5 or 6 days. The day seems as if it would 
rain, and after meeting with a large hut of the natives, we 
made again for the night to our old hut. At about 9 P.M. we 
heard a dog barking, and seemed to be at a fire or hut. Three 
men went down at the distance of two miles. Five dogs came 
at them first, and then two more, in the whole seven. The 
dogs seemed determined to bite them. After a short time, 
they turaed round and walked off. The men searched the bush 
all round, but could see no fires or anything else. Returned here 
about half-past ten. At this time the moon was going into 
eclipse, and continued so until the whole was eclipsed, not a bit 
of her to be seen, and total darkness followed. Shot 5 dogs. 

'* Mardiy Wednesday IQtk, — Rained this morning until 9 A.M., 
when I started with 3 of the party, leaving 3 in charge 
of the knapsacks. I beat the hills and bush round for ten 
miles. Rained several times at intervals. See and kill a young 
dog, but see none of the other dogs we heard last night. See 
where the natives had killed and roasted a kangaroo not many 
days ago. Returned to the hut for the night. Walked about 
15 miles round. 

*^Marchy Thursday, Wth. — Started this morning, beating 
through the hills in a dii'ection for the bogs, and the head of 
Campbell Town creek. Made the open end of the bog ; kept 
beating down then to Kearney's old stock hut, which we made 
about 1 P.M. Got dinner, and then sent two men together in 
different directions to see if anything could be seen. They 
returned at 4 P.M. ; could see nothing. Walked to-day about 
18 miles. The morning looked likely for rain. Passed over no 
good ground* 

*^ Friday, 12th March. — Started this morning, scouring the 
Tiers to make the St. Paul's Plain and Black Men's comer. 
Crossed the St Paul's ; and learning here that the Natives had 
been seen crossing the South Esk near Mr. Grey's (?), I crossed 
that river. Walked about 25 miles from the Bogs. 

*^ Saturday, l^th March. — Started this morning round the E. 
end of Ben Lomond ; see nothing of the Natives. Walked about 
15 miles over rough hill, &a 

** Sunday, l^th, — Scouring the hills on the E. side of Ben 
Lomond, and walked about 16 miles. No signs whatever of the 

Life of John Batman. 153 

** Monday, 15 March. — Started this morning at 6 VM,, scouring 
the hills up the S. £sk. Walked about 15 miles, &a 

"Tuesday, 16th. — Started this morning, beating the hills 
round the of Ben Lomond, &c. Walked about 12 miles. 

*'17th, Wednesday. — Started this morning at 6 A.M., and 
scouring the hills in the front of Ben Lomond, and made 
home. No sign of the Natives. 

" 1830, Thursday, ISth March. — ^At home getting the men's 
shoes repaired, and new shoes, &c. 

*' Friday, 19th. — The same as yesterday. 

" Saturday, 20th. — The same as yesterday. 

" Sunday, 2lst. — The men resting, &c. 

" Monday, 22nd March. — Men all ready to start to the North 
Esk, and just on the point of starting, when Mr. Murphy (?) 
came galloping up, stating that three Natives had run his 
shepherd within three miles of this place. Immediately altered 
my plan, and made three parties, 5 in each party, and went 
myself in the direction the men had been run. I found the 
tracks, and followed them up for several miles. Could not see 
anything of them. Walked about ten miles. 

" March, Tuesday, 2Srd. — Still beating the hills in all direc- 
tions, the three parties, but see no sign of them. This evening 
the whole of the parties met, and received fresh orders where to 
proceed in the morning, &c. 

" Wednesday, 24ith. — Beatine the Tiers in front of Ben Lomond, 
and a party beating near the South Esk. 

" Thursday, 25th March. — Two parties beating the Tiers round 
Ben Lomond, expecting they might be in that quarter. I went 
into Launceston, expecting to see the Governor. 

" Friday, 2Qth. — The two parties still scouring the hill in all 
directions. The Oovemor did not arrive in Launceston. No 
black women that I took was sent to Launceston, to be turned 
moreover into the Bush. I see Mr. Lyttleton on the subject, 
and requested him to detain them until the Oovemor arrived. 

" Saturday, 27 March. — This morning see Major Abbott, the 
Commandant, respecting the women, and expressed my wish to 
have the women kept until the Governor came over. He 
promised to do so, after my promising to be in Launceston 
on Tuesday next. The two parties arrived here this evening, 
and see nothing of the Natives. 

** Sunday, ^th, — I came home last night, and the men 
resting, &c. My two Sydney Blacks did not return from 

"Monday, 29th March. — Started a party of 7 men off this 
morning to cross the S. Esk, and to beat towards the bogs where 
the Natives had been seen. I intend to proceed again into 
Launceston to meet the Governor on Tuesday, according to my 

154 Port Phillip Settlement. 

promise to Major Abbott, the Commandant, to see bim respecting 
the Black women, &c., Sec., &c. 

* Tuesday, SOth March. — I left this morning for Launceston 
to see the Governor. Arrived in Launceston about sunset. 
Met Pigeon {Sydney Black) and took him back. 

" Wednesday, ^Ist. — Waiting in Town the whole of this day 
for the Governor. 

** Thursday, let April. — ^Still in Town, waiting to see the 
Governor, who arrived late this evening in Launceston. 

" Friday, 2nd April. — ^The Governor sent for me this morning 
at 8 o'clock. Went to Government House. He then desired 
me to come up again at 10 o'clock, which I did, and then 
explained to him my reason for detaining the Black women in 
Launceston. He approved in a great measure of my plan 
respecting them, and also see Pigeon, who he promised to give 
him a great deal if he could succeed in bringing in a tribe on 
friendly terms. The Governor met me again at the Penitentiary, to 
see the women at 12 o'clock. Pigeon was with me, who explained 
the intention of the Government towards them, and told them 
he would also go with them in the Bush. Nothing was decided 
respecting them to-day. 

" Saturday, Srd April. — ^Waited on His Excellency this morn- 
ing, who then told me that the Black women should go out this 
morning to my farm, and then with Pigeon and Tommy to go 
in the Bush with them. The women left Town about 2 o'clock 
for my farm. I started about an hour after them, and see them 
safe on the road. I got home about sunset. 

" Sunday, 4tth. — At home all day. The party I sent away 
returned l&st night without seeing any traces of the Natives. 

*' Monday, 5 April. — The Black women arrived here about 12 
o'clock. Made them tea, gave them bread, &c. 

" Tuesday, 6 April — The women here all day. This evening 
the young child belonging to one of the women that suckled at 
the breast died. I put it in a box, and buried it at the top of 
the garden. She seemed much afifected at the loss of the child, 
and cried much. 

" April, Wednesday 7th. — This morning I found the woman 
that lost her child over the grave, and crying much. This 
morning they were all getting ready for to start into the Bush. 
Pigeon and Tommy also left this about 12 o'clock, loaded with 
tea, sugar, bread, potatoes, blankets, and tobacco, and also four 
dogs which I gave them. They went in a direction for Ben 
Lomond, &c. I walked with them a mile or more, shaking 
hands with them. They appeared much affected at leaving me, 
and promised faithfally to return in a few days. Pigeon and 
Tommy took with them a few spears, and that's alL 

*' Thursday, 6th. — Started off this morning in different direc* 

Life of John Batman. ' 155 

tions to inform the settlers of the movment of Pigeon and 
Tommy, and not to take any notice of the smoke they 
might see. 

** Friday, 9th April. — From information that I received 
respecting the Natives robbing some tents at Mill's Plains, I 
sent four men off in that direction. They, it appears, had 
robbed Mr. Nelson, and also went into a house where a woman 
was, took one blanket, and did not hurt her. This shows they 
do not commit murders when they might. 

'*Saturduy, 10th. — At home all day. Two of the men 
returned from the North Esk to give notice to the settlers in 
that quarter. 

"April, Sunday, llih. — The men returned from the Break-o'- 
Day, gave them notice. 

"Monday, 12th April. — At home all day with part of the 

" Tuesday, IZth. — The Party out in two parties, scouring the 
Settled Districts. I at home waiting for Pigeon and Tommy. 
John Taylor left the party this morning for good, having got his 

" Wednesday, 14ith. — The Party out in two directions : us 

" Thursday, 15th April. — The Party out as usual, scouring 
the Settled Districts. Pigeon and Tommy came home this 
evening, and at first made a false report, but afterwards told me 
the truth, and that they came to meet the Black women the 
next day. Danvers came home to-day from Mr. Anstey with a 

" Friday, 16th April. — Pigeon and Tommy started again this 
morning with supplies. I went with them near Ben Lomond, 
and got the brass plates (?) the women had : carried them flour, 
&c., by some of the party. 

" Saturday, 17th. — The party at home, and myself all day. 

" Sunday, 18th April. — ^At home all day. 

'* Monday, 19th. — Sent some of the party to scour the Bush, 
and made into Lauceston for slops : took two of them with me. 

" Tuesday, 20th. — Got the slops from the store this morning, 
13 suits, and instead of trousers got cloth. Bode home the 
same evening. 

" Wednesday, 21st. — At home myself. The cart arrived with 
the slops, &c. The rest of the party out. 

" Thursday, 22 April. — At home, expecting to hear from 
Pigeon and Tommy. 

'* Friday, 23 April. — The party out scouring the Settled 
Districts. Myself at home. Some of the party started with 
flour, tea, sugar, for Tommy and Pigeon. 

*' Saturday, 24. — Still at home, and no news of the Natives. 

156 - Port Phillip Settlement. 

" Sunday, 25 April. — ^The party still out. No news of Tommy 
or Pigeon. 

'* Monday, 26<A. — The same as before. 

" Tuesday, 27 April, — The party return from taking flour, 
tea, sugar, and tobacco to a place appointed, to be left for Pigeon 
and Tommy in case they should come that way. 

" Wednesday, 28.-r-At home, and also the party. Thomas 
Bulgen commenced on rations. 

" Thursday, 29th, — The party started again this morning, four 
of them to scour round the Bush, and see if the flour had been 
taken by Tommy and Pigeon this day. 

" Friday, 30 April. — ^This day arrived a new man of the name 
of Abyssinia Tom from Mr. Anstey's, to place himself under my 
orders, and in the place of Taylor. 

"Saturday, Ist May, — ^Bode over to see and advise with 
Danvers, who met me at Major Gray's for that purpose, and he 
is to come to my house on Monday or Tuesday to see if anything 
is heard of my two men, in order that he may proceed to the 

" Sunday, 2nd May, — At home : received a letter from Mr. 
Simpson's clerk, stating that the Natives had made their appear- 
ance at Mr. Diprose's farm in the forest. I had intended to 
have sent a party towards the NJB.; but on receiving this 
information I shsJl start them in the morning to Mr. Diprose's 

" Monday, 3rd May. — Started 6 of the party early this morning 
to the Forest across the Hobarton Boad, and to Diprose's, to 
scour that part; of the country for a few days. This evening 
Danvers and his party arrived, and one of my party returned 
from the Bush who had been to see if Pigeon and Tommy had 
took tea and flour. 

" Tuesday, 4 May. — Danvers still here. Sent a man with a 
letter to Mr. Anstey, to leam from him what was best to be done 
with Danvers and his men. 

'' Wednesday, 5. — Sent men to the North £sk and Break 6' 
Day Plains to leam if they could if Pigeon and Tommy had 
been that way. Danvers and his party still here. 

Thursday, 6th, — ^Danvers and his party still here waiting, 
expecting Afr. Anstey's answer to my letter. 

** Friday, 7 May, — The two men belonging to Danvers without ! 

any answer home (?). They had better act. Betumed this 
afternoon. Immediately sent Danvers off with my horse to see 
Mr. Simpson, who had just come up from Mr. Aiistey's. The 
party returned from Diprose's farm without seeing anything of 
the natives, and suppose it only a false alarm. 

" May, Saturday 8. — ^At last Tommy and Pigeon made their 
appearance, and stated that they had been round the E. coast 

Life of John Batman. 157 

from George's Bay to George Town, and could see nothing of 
the Natives or the women that left this. They called at George 
Town, and also found my chart there I left on the coast. 
Shortly Danvers returned, and said Mr. Simpson thought he had 
better stay a few more days until Pigeon and Tommy returned, 
before he went out with his party. The men also returned from 
Break o' Day Plains and N.E. So now 1 shall start on Monday 
with Danvers and the whole of my party in pursuit of the 
Natives round Ben Lomond, by way the boy Mongo wants to. 

" SuTidayy 9th May. — Men getting ready to leave to-morrow 
morning for the Bush. 

" Monday, \Oth May. — Started this morning a 9 a.m. with 
Danvers and his party. Made round towards the Stacks of Ben 
Lomond, the way the boy wished to go. Stopped the whole of 
the party for the night, and made a long hut, expecting it would 

" Tuesday, l\th, — Started this morning at 7 &m., keeping round 
the Stacks of Ben Lomond to the place where we first fell in with 
the Natives, the -direction the black boy wished to go. About 
one p.m. the boy wished to bear more down towards the S.E. 
I then altered my course, and told Danvers he had better follow 
the boy where he wished to go. I then kept more round the 
mountain, and came to the place we fell in with the Natives, and 
commenced making a hut for the night. We had been here 
about an hour, when Danvers came with his party. The boy 
brought him round to show him some old huts, smd then made 
direct to the place we were at. This convinced me the boy was 
in the tribe the day we fell in with them. Walked to-day about 
twelve miles. Got the flour, &c., we left for Pigeon in case they 
brought the women round that way. Fine day. 

" Wednesday, 12th. — Started this morning at 7 a.m., keeping a 
direction round towards the N. end of Ben Lomond, giving 
the boy his own road. Beat round to a branch of the South 
Esk, on the back of the mountain, and all stopped for the night 
on a small branch of the river. Walked about 12 miles. The 
boy seems to be ill to-day. Fine day. 

*• Thursday, 13^A May. — Started this morning at 7 a.m., keeping 
a direction down the South Esk towards Break o' Day Plains, 
and giving the boy his own direction. Came to the bend of the 
river that runs round to Mr. Talbot. Here the boy followed 
the main branch, and I with my party followed a small branch 
running to the North. See no more of Danvers and his party. 
Stopped for the night on the small creek. Walked about 18 
miles. Very ill from a cold, and getting worse. 

" Friday, 14 May, — Started thS» morning at 7 a.m. Crossed 
the creek and made on the top of some hills. Here I found 
myself much worse, and also some of the men had only four 

168 Port Phillip Settlement. 

days' provisions. I have given up my own rations, and also four 
more of the men, to make up 10 or 11 days for seven of the 
party. I determined to go home. The party proceeded in a 
direction for Piper's river. I followed the S. Esk up, and 
stopped for the night on the back of Ben Lomond. Walked 
about 15 miles. No trace of the Natives whatever. 

" Saturday, 15 May. — Started this morning at 7 a.m. with the 
four men. One of them being very ill, Black Bill, and crossed 
Ben Lomond, and got here about sunset The party of seven 
men beating the hills towards St. Patrick's Head. 

" Sunday 16th, — At home, resting. The party made the sea 
coast near St. P. H., and met Danvers on the coast with his 
party. The Black boy very ilL 

" Monday, 17 th. — At the sea coast the party. Rode to Camp- 
bell Town to see and receive instructions from Mr. Simpson, 
who I am now ordered to make my communications straight. 
Got there, and found Mr. S. not at home. I wrote a short note 
and rode back. Qot to Mr. M. after dark, and stopped for the 
night. Heard here that the Natives had murdered a man 
belonging to Mr. Nowland. I started before daylight, and got 
home. Sent out the party, four, and the soldiers, to scour the 
hills, and rode in another direction to see if I could see anything. 
Came down on Mr. Nowland's hut, and found the whole of it to 
be false. The man was a cripple, or I should have taken him 

before a magistrate. Went down to Mr. D and heard the 

whole of the report, and how it occurred. The party scouring 
the hills all day. The party beating up and down the coast, 
&c., near St. P. Head. 

" Wedfiesday, 19. — At home unwell. The party still out 
scouring the hills with the soldiers. The party left the coast, 
and beating through the Tiers near St. P. H. 

" May, Thursday, 20. — The party returned to-day, and see no 
trace of the Natives. Myself getting something better. The 
party still beating through the Tiers towards the S. Esk. 

" Friday, 21 May. — Jonathan Ford arrived with a letter from 
Mr. Simpson stating that he may resign being in my party, and 
leaves accordingly to-day. The party made down to the South 
Esk and stopped for the night. 

'* May, Saturday, 22nd. — At home all day with the men I got. 
The other seven men arrived this evening without the least 
trace of the Natives. It now appears that they have no certain 
place of stopping any time, as the Black boy could find no trace 
of them, nor yet see them. 

" Sunday, 2Srd. — Men ^tting ready to start. Part of them 
to Diprose's Forest, the others to Town to-morrow. 

" Monday, 24ith May. — Started this morning for Town to get 
supplies for the party. The party started to Diprose's Forest. 

Life of John Batman. 159 

When I got to Launoeston, went and see the Black women, 
and learn from theni how one of them had been shot, and 
one dead, and those very illtreated by the men at Piper river. 

" Ttusday, 25th, — Still in Launceston. Got my supplies from 

the stores, and sent them out by my cart — tea, sugar, tobacco, %c. 

" Wednesday, 26th. — Was obliged to remain in a day longer 

than I intended to settle an affair with Mr. Robinson and Mr. 

Wedge about land. 

" Thursday, 27th, — Got my business settled this morning, and 
rode home. Got home some time after dark. The cart arrived 
also with the supplies all safe. 

" Friday, 28. — The party returned this evening from Diprose's 
Forest wiUiout seeing the least trace of the Natives, and think 
the whole of the reports to be false. I intend to ride to 
Campbell Town to-morrow to see Mr. Simpson, and advise 
with him how to act. 

" May, Saturday, 29th, — Did not ride over to Mr. Simpson 
to-day, but intend to do so to-morrow. 

" Sunday, 30 May, — Bode over to Mr. Simpson, and advised 
with him. He gave me instructions how to act, and to proceed 
into Launceston to-morrow to get the Black women, and proceed 
to Piper river to discover, if possible, the body of the woman 

"Monday, 31 May, — Sent seven men to scour the front of 
Ben Lomond, and near the Nila Rode into Launceston. Got 
in this evening. Went and see Mr. Lyttleton, who agreed with 
the phms of Mr. Simpson and myself, and said he would give 
me warrants to apprehend the men at Piper's river. 

" Tuesday, 1 June, 1830. — Call on Major Abbott this morning, 
and asked him to allow the women to go with me, and also 
to read Mr. Simpson's instructions to me. This he refused to 
do. I again called on Mr. Lyttleton, who wrote me a letter, 
and requested me to answer it, to state the reason why 1 had 
not been to Piper's river. This I did. 

" Jun^, Wednesday 2, — Started this morning in company with 
Dr. Brown, who slept at my house this night. 

" Thursday, 3rd June, — ^At home all day. 

" Friday, 4s June, — At home all day. The party not return 
from the Bush. 

"June, Saturday, 5th, — The party still out, and am much 
vexed at Major Abbott's conduct in not allowing the women to 
proceed Avith me. 

" Sunday, 6th. — ^Expect to hear to-day from Mr. Simpson, and 
addressed another letter to him, stating that I will ride over to 
him to-morrow, but received no letter from him. 

" Monday, 7 June. — Rode over to Mr. Simpson this morning, 
who was very much surprised at what I stated to him respecting 

160 Port Phillip Settlement. 

Major Abbott not allowing the women to go with me. He 
wrote oflf immediately to the Colonial Secretary, and expect an 
answer .... a special messenger. Rode home this evening. 
The men returned without any success. 

*' Tuesday, Sth. — Sent oflf four men to St. Patrick's Head for 
the boy Mungo, who is there very ill, and to use every means to 
bring him home. 

" June, Wednesday, 9th. — At home all day. The men returned 
and stated the boy had passed down. The men, six, scouring 
round Ben Lomond. 

" Thursday, 10th June, — Sent two men this morning to Mr. 
Simpson to see if he had detained the boy. 

" Friday, 11th, — The men returned this morning from Camp- 
bell Town, bringing a message from Mr. Simpson that he would 
send for the boy. The party returned from Ben Lomond 
without success. 

*' Saturday, 12th June, — At home. All of the party getting 
shoes to mend. 

** Sunday, IZth, — Received a letter from Mr. Simpson late 
this night, enclosing one irom the Qovemor, and to get the 
women from Major Abbott. 

" Monday, 14<A. — Sent the party this morning to proceed into 
Launceston to get the Black women to proceed to Piper s River, 
Rode into Launceston myself. 

** Tuesday, Ihth c7i^n«.— Qot the women, and started them and 
the party across the river towards George Town. 

" Wednesday, l&th. — Started this morning at daybreak, and 
made down to Mount Direction, and stopped for the night. The 
B. women could not walk welL 

" Thursday, 17th, — Started this morning, and heading 
towards George Town. The women walked very slow. Made 
below the 14 mile bridge, and stopped on the roadside for the 
night. Walked about 12 miles. Day fine. Caught a Elangaroo 
for the women. 

*' Friday, ISth June. — Started thia morning, at sunrise, down 
to George Town road. Pass the 14 mile bridge, and then 
turned ofT to the East to make the coast. Made it about 12 
noon, and passed Currie river, and stopped on the coast for the 
night. The Black boy rode all day on the horse. Killed two 
Kangaroos for them. Could not find any grass for the horse to 
eat. Expect to make Piper's river in the morning. Walked 
to day 16 miles. Fine day. 

''Saturday, 19th June, — Started this morning, at sunrise, 
beating down the coast, and made Piper's river at 10 A..H. 
The women tried to wade it, but could not do it. We then 
made down to the mouth of the river, waited some time for the 
tide running out, and then crossed it The women took me to 

Life of John Batman. 161 

the old hut, and pointed to the place where the Black, as they 
thought, was buried. But this was where the white man was 
buried, which had been killed by the Natives some time back. 
The men here had shown it them, and said ' Black fellow ;' which 

1 suppose they thought was a Native buried that had been 
killed by them, which they had told me of in Launceston. We 
then followed up Piper's river, on the east side, for four or five 
miles, until we made Gee's hut. Here we found four men, who 
gave me an account of taking the women, which appears to me 
to be quite correct, and used them welL I found one blanket 
and two dogs, the same that I gave them when leaving my 
farm. The other woman ran away, and coo-ed to them after 
night. The boy rode here. We made it at 3 P.M. Walked 
about 16 miles. The women told me they heard the other 
woman halloo, on the other side of the creek, and nothing 
more of her after. 

" Sunday, 20th June. — Got from those men 60 pounds of flour 
and one sheep for the party, and started again this morning 
about 11 A.M., beating through the Bush in a S.W. direction 
for Launceston. The women told me they could make it in 
two days. We got to the open part of Piper's river, and stopped 
for the night on the banks. It began to rain this evening, 
and expect it to be a rainy night. Walked about 8 miles, over 
an open forest country. 

'' Monday, 2l8t June. — Started this morning at sunrise. It 
rained very hard all last night. We re-crossed Piper's river. The 
horse got fast in a tree, and I made sure he would never get out 
alive. After the whole of the party being in the water for two 
hours, we got him out. We then went on, and crossed three 
small creeks, still keeping a S.W. direction. We fell in with 
several old huts where the Blacks had been some months back. 
We again stopped for the night in a forest. The land we passed 
over was open forest, and some good on Piper's river. 

*' TtLesday, 22nd June. — Started this morning before sunrise, 
and made out about 10 A.M. within six miles of Launceston. 
See several more huts the women brought us to. I rode and 
reported my being down at Piper's river to Mr. Lyttleton, and 
told him the particulars. Got on with the women to the east 
of Launceston, and stopped for the night Walked about 12 

"23 June, Wednesday. — Started this moraing, and beating 
through the hills to the east of Launceston. Rained all day. 
Walked about 10 miles. 

" 24 Jwne, Thursday. — Started this morning, and beating 
through the hills in a direction for the Nile. Crossed it about 

2 P.M. and stopped for the night about two miles over it. 
Walked about 12 miles. 


1C2 PpRT Phillip Settlement. 

** 25 June, Friday, — Started this morning and made Kingston 
about 3 P.H. The women much tired. Made them some tea, 
and gave them bread and mutton, &c. 

" Saturday, 2Qth June, — The women in the yard. Kept no 
watch over them last night. Supplied them with provisions. 
The men getting their shoes repaired, to start about Tuesday 
next, to remain stationary for a month to the east of Ben Lomond. 

** Sunday, 27 June, — The women as yesterday, and men 
getting ready to start into the Bush. 

" Monday, 2Sth June, — ^The women and party as yesterday. 

" Tuesday, 29th June. — Started this morning with the women 
and all the party, heavily loaded. Made the front or east end 
of Ben Lomond. 

" June, Wednesday 30th, — Made round to the Stacks of the 
mountain, and stopped on a spot where the women said would 
be most likely the Blacks would come or pass, that it was a 
usual beat for them. Here we commenced making huts to live 
in for a month, and as a dep6t for provisions. 

" Thursday, 1st July, — The party still engaged in forming 
their huts. Got them finished. 

" Friday, 2nd July, — ^The women left this morning to scour 
round the mountain, and where they think proper to go, in order 
to try to fall in with their own Tribe, and to bring them to me. 
My two Sydney Blacks, Black Bill, and a white man of the 
name of James Qumm, accompanied them, all without firearms. 
I gave them three dogs. 

"Saturday, Srd July, — Two of the men came back this 
morning, and said the women wished to proceed a good dis* 
tance round and about the mountain, and they came back for a 
further supply of provisions. Went off again to join the women- 

*' Sunday, 4 July, — The men still at the huts, looking 
out, &c. 

" Monday, 6 July, — No news of the women. The men on the 
look out round the forest. 

" Tuesday, 6th July, — No signs of the women, and the men 
still looking round one every day. See to ... . some native 
dogs, but could not get near enough to shoot them. 

" Wednesday, 7 July, — No signs of the women that went off. 
The men looking out as before. 

" WA July, Thursday, — No signs of the women or men. The 
party at the depot out as usual 

** Friday, 9 July, — No account of the women, &c. The men 
as usual. 

** Saturday, 10 July. — No signs of the women. The men at 
the depot as usual. 

** Sunday, llth July, — No signs of the women. The men 
at the hut as usual. 

Life of John Batman. 163 

^ Monday^ IWi July, — ^No news of the womei), and the men 
at the hut out in different directions as before. 

'^ Tuesday, IZth J\dy, — The women not heard of, and the men 
employed as before. 

" Wednesday, \4Ah July. — No news of the women. The men 
employed as usual. 

" Thursday, 15 July, — I heard to-day that the women had 
made Pigeon's Plains, and could not walk further on account 
of the snow, which fell three or four feet in places. 

^^ Friday, 16^ A Jvly, — The women and men remained on 
Pigeon Plains on account of the snow. The men still at the 
hut and going out as usual. 

^'Saturday, 17 July. — The women made here this evening, 
and intend to proceed to the huts to-morrow with suj^lies. 

" Sunday, \hth July, — The women left this again this morn- 
ing for the east end of Ben Lomond, where the men is stationed 
— the remainder of the party there. The snow still up there 
three and four feet deep. 

^' M(mday, IQth, — The women and men still at the hut, and 
could not go forth on account of the snow. 

^ Tuesday, 2Qth, — The women and men the same as yesterday. 

'' Wednesday, 21 JtUy, — ^The women and men could not go 
out on account of the snow. 

" Thursday, 22. — The men and women as usual. The snow 
somewhat melted away. 

*' Friday, 23. — The women left this morning with Gumm, 
Pigeon, Johnny Crook, and Black Bill, to scour the country 
towdrrds the sea coast. The party on the look out in the hut. 
Saturday, 2Wi. — The men at the hut as yesterday. 
Sunday, 2&th July. — The men at the hut looking out. No 
news of the women. 

"Monday, 26th July, -^The men as usual at the hut, and the 
women away. 

" Tuesday, 27th July. — ^The women no news of them. The 
jnen at the huts on the look out. 

" Wednesday, 28. — No tidings of the women. The men as 

" Thursday, 29th, — No news of the women. The men as 

" Friday, 30. — No news of the women. The men employed 
at the hut as usual. 

" Saturday, 31st July, — No word of the women. The men 
looking out at the huts. 

"Sunday, 1st August, — No news of the women. Suppose 
they are gone towards George's River and St. Patrick's Head 
on account of being away so long. The men at the hut looking 
out, but not the least sign of the Natives. 

M 2 


Port Phillip Settlement. 

" Monday, 2nd August. — No news of the women. The men 
at the station as usual. I went to Launceston to-day. 

*' Tuesday, Zrd. — No news of the women. The men at the 
station as usual. I came from Launceston to-day. 

" Wednesday, 4ith, — Heard to-day'that the women was coming 
down &om Break o' Day Plains without seeing any signs of the 
Natives. Had been roimd towards George's River and St. 
Patrick's Head. The party at the station as usual. 

" Thursday, 5 August, — The women came here torday with the 
men that had been out with them, and stopped in the yard. 
The party at the station as usual. The women expressed a wish 
to go away by themselves. 

" Friday, 6th August. — The women here aU day, and still ex- 
pressing a wish to go by themselves. I, with the advice of 
Major Gray, thought it best to let them go, and intend to start 
them to-morrow with a supply of flour, meat, tea, sugar, tobacco 
up to the 20th August. 

" Saturday, 7th August. — ^The women left this morning for 
the east end of Ben Lomond, the station where the men is, with 
three men carrying supplies for them. They wished the men to 
be removed from this place, which I promised to do. They 
made every promise to bring the Tribes in they belong to. 

" Sunday, Sth August. — The women left this morning from 
the station, loaded with as much as they could carry, and by 
themselves, to endeavour to find their Tribe to* bring in«. 
Hid (?) a supply of flour in a place for them when they came 
this way again. I also removed the party from the station 
this day before they left, nearer the front of Ben Lomond. I 
have every hope of the women bringing in their Tribe. I gave 
them three dogs, knives, pipes* &c., &c., to carry with them. 

" Monday, 9th August.— ^he party made new huts, and act 
as before, that is only one man seen, &c. 

*' Tuesday, 10th. — ^The party stationed as before in their new 

" Wednesday, 11th. — The party as before. No sign whatever 
of anything moving. 

" Thursday, 12th August. — The party as before. No signs of 
any Natives, and no signs of the women. 

*' Friday, ISth. — The party as before on the look out. No signs 
of the women. 

Saturday, l^th. — The party still as before, stationary. 
Sunday, 15th August. — The party as before, and no news of 
the women. 

" Monday, 16th. — The men as before. No signs of 

" Tuesday, 17th August — The men as before on the look out 
in difierent quarters. 



Life of John Batman. 165 

^' WedvAsday, 18^A Augtisi, — The party as before. No jsigns 
of any Natives. 

*' Thu/rsday, 19th. — The men came in for me to take a descrip- 
tion of them before I proceed to Hobart. 

'' Friday, 20th August, — ^The men preparing to go ont again 
until I return from Hobart Town, intending to see the Qovemor. 

" Saturday, 21st. — The men getting shoes mended to proceed 
again in the Bush. I leave for Hobart Town, and rode to Boss 
Bridge this evening in company with Mr. Pitcaim. 

'' Sunday 22. — Left Ross this evening and rode to Mr. Anstey. 
Stopped there some time, and dined at Jericho. Left there 
about 2 P. H., and in descending Spring Hill a man met us in the 
road, who stated that the Natives was at Mr. Hooper's House. 
Mr. P. and I rode down immediately. When we got in sight see 
the house surrounded by I^atives. I galloped down, and the 
whole of them fled. The first thing we see was the dead body 
of Mr. Hooper, and a great number of goods lying outside the 
house. We galloped off to the Lovely Banks' Inn, and sent men 
after them, and nxle on to the Crown Lm, Bagdad. 

" Monday, 2Srd August. — This morning rode into Hobarton, 
and wrote a letter to the Qovemor, giving him an account of 
the murder. 

** Tuesday, 24^A August. — This morning waited on His Excel- 
lency, and had a long conversation respecting the expedition 
against the aborigines. He was well satisfied with my conduct^ 
and promised me that I should receive an order for my land. 

** August, Wednesday, 25. — Writing a long letter to the 
Governor respecting the men acting under me in pursuit of the 
Natives, and also respecting the steps I would recommend to 
be taken. 

** Thwrsday, 2&th August. — Left Hobarton, and rode in com- 
pany with the Rev. John Hutchinson to Butch ... at the foot 
of Constitution HilL Stopped for the night. 

" Friday, 2*1 th August. — Bode to Campbell Town, and stopped 
for the night. See Mr. Simpson. 

^^ Saturday, 2'&th August. — Left early in the morning, and 
rode to Major Gray's, and from there home. 

" Sunday, 29 August. — Mr. Hutchinson preached here to-day 
to a number of men. 

" Monday, 30 Au^gust. — My men had returned from the Bush 
on Saturday night, and remained at home. 

" Tuesday, Slst. — ^At home the party, &c. 

*' Wednesday, 1st September^ — The party at home. 

^'Thursday 2nd September. — Received information that the 
Natives had robbed several huts. Sent the party off in two 
directions to endeavour to fall in with them. 

" Friday 3rd September. — ^The men all out. 

166 Port Phillip Settlement. 

'^Saturday, 4ith. — The men all out. 

" Sunday 6th. — The men all out. 
Monday, Qth September. — The men still out. 
Tuesday, 7th September. — ^The party still out. 

" Wednesday, 8 September. — The men still out. 

*' Thursday, 9th. — The party as before. 

"Friday, 10th. — The men still out as before. 

" Septe7nJ>er, Saturday, 11th. — The men returned this day 
after scouring the Tiers in Blackman's Common and Bogs, and 
round east end of Ben Lomond, &c., without seeing any trace 
cf them. 

"Septemier, Sunday, 12. — ^At home all day. 

" Monday, 13. — ^Received a letter from the Colonial Secretary 
to lose no time in seeing the Police Magistrate of my district to 
suggest arrangements how the body of people called upon by 
the Qovemment Order was to act in our district. Immediately 
rode to Major Gray, and from thence to Campbell Town to see 
Mr. Simpson on the subject. 

" September, Tttesday, 14ith. — Bode to Major Gray, and stopped 
for the night. 

*' September f Wednesday 15th. — Rode home. All the party in, 
mending and repairing their clothes. 

" Thursday, 16 S!^^«?w.^.-^Sent a cart into Launceston this 
morning, and rode in also to get two months' supply from the 
24th inst. 

** Friday, 17 Septeniber. — Got the supply from the stores and 
sent them out. 

" Saturday, 18 September. — Left Launceston, and rode home. 

"Sunday, 19th September. — The cart arrived with supplies 
from Launceston. 

" Monday 20th. — The whole of the party getting knapsacks, 
clothes, boots, &c., made, to be ready to move out on the 7th 
of October, the day appointed by Qovemment for the general 
movement against the Natives. 

" Tttesday, 21 September. — The party employed as yesterday. 

*' Wednesday, 22nd. — The men as before. 

" Thursday, 2Srd. — The men as before. 

*' 24, Friday. — ^The men as before. 

"September, Saturday 25. — This morning at sunrise a servant 
of Major Gray's came over on horseback, with a message from 
Major Gray, stating that three of his men was murdered and a 
fourth left for dead. Immediately divided the party, and sent 
them off in four directions most likely to fall in with them. I 
went with one party myself towards the place the men was 
murdered. Also learned from two constables that the Natives 
had murdered four men at Oyster Bay. Beating the Tiers all 
day without any sign of the Natives. 

Life of Johjt Batman. 167 

" Sqyteniber, Sunday, 26th, — Beating through the Tiers again, 
but could see nothing of them. 

"September, Monday 27th, — Boating about but could see 
nothing of them, and some of the men was barefooted, and 
thought the best plan to return, and still prepare against the 
7th October. 

" Tv£sday, 28 September, 1830. — This morning I sent the men 
to Campbell Town, to get slop clothing, &c., from the Police 

" September, Wednesday 29th, 1830. — The men returned from 
Campbell Town with slops, and brought with them the boy 
Mimgo, which was sent from Oatlands to join my party. 

•* Thursday, SO' September. — ^The men getting all things ready 
for the 7th." 

The journal indicates one feature of the character of this 
bold Bushman — humanity. In spite of the yiolent and 
general hatred to the whole race then cherished by the settlers, 
he ever extended a kind hand to those natives who suffered, 
without having offended, while pitying others driven to cruel 
deeds under the impulse of revenge for abominable treatment. 
His gentleness and even tenderness towards children and 
women of the tribes brought him their confidence as well as 

The latter part of the journal refers to the I/ine or levy en 
masse of the inhabitants, soldiers and constables of the island, 
in pursuit of the aborigines. The gathering was ordered for 
October 7th, 1830. The result of this movement, at an expense 
of 30,000/., was the capture of a boy. But, ultimately, by the 
work of such conciliators as Robinson and Batman, all the 
dark people were brought in, and taken to Flinders' Island in 
the Straits. 

When Batman first decided upon the work, he wrote thus to 
the Government : — 

" I have formed the determination, provided it meets with 
His Excellency's approbation under certain conditions, of 
devoting some time, and all the exertion of which I am capable, 
toward bringing in alive some of that much injured and most 
unfortunate race of beings." 

The Zaun^^on Advertiser of that year, on August 24th, 
observed : — " Mr. John Batman is very well fitted for that office 
from his knowledge of the Bush, from his early habits, and 

168 Port Phillip Settlement. 

from his great capability of enduring jfatigue and privation/' 
The latter were sure to be borne by those who went out after 
the blacks in so densely wooded and rocky a country. He was 
the first to make use of female native spies, to induce the tribes 
to come away to a fine hunting ground, where there would be 
no bad whites to ill-treat them. He was successful in the 
capture of a tribe. He had never to fight but once, and then 
he was set upon suddenly in a scrub by a large party of wild 
natives. James Qumm, his companion in 1830, became his 
assistant in the expedition of 1835 to Port Phillip. He was 
accustomed to deal with aborigines. The Governor, Colonel 
Arthur, spoke thus of him in a despatch home : — 

** Mr. Batman treats the savages with the utmost kindness, 
distributing to them clothing and food. They were placed 
under no restraint, but all the indulgence that had been 
pledged was manifested toward them. Mr. Batman who has 
taken the most lively interest in conciliating these wretched 
people, and has been one of the few who supposed that they 
mi^ht be influenced by kindness, was, with his family, most 
assiduous in cultivating the best understanding." 

Mr. Melville, who knew him then well, declared that he 
" proceeded not with the sword, but with the olive branch." 
The Rev. John West, historian of Tasmania, said : — '* To Mr. 
Batman belongs the praise of mingUng humanity with severity, 
of perceiving human affections he was commissioned to resist. 
He certainly began in the midst of conflict and bloodshed to 
try the softer influence of conciliation and charity, being one 
of the few who entertained a strong confidence in the power 
of kindness." 

For his services in the Black War, he received the grant of 
2,000 acres of land, and each of his Sydney Blacks had 100 
acres. As elsewhere named, several of these Sydney natives, 
being personally attached to Batman, continued to live with him, 
and accompanied him in his expedition to Port Phillip. Only 
a year before he left Kingston on that trip, several returned 
to him, after a brief visit to Sydney. The Launceston Advertiser 
of March *20th, 1834, said :— 

"The Sydney Natives who were employed here during 
our Black War, under Mr. Batman, and returned some time 

Life of John Batman. 169 

ago to New South Wales, have come back to the colony in 
the Active, We believe they return to employ themselves 
under Mr. Batman again, as farm labourers. They are active 
fellows, and, we understand, much more industrious than the 
generality of the natives." 

His private career was that of a farmer and grazier. If not 
always prudent in expenditure, he was neither thriftless nor 
careless. Somewhat too generous in obUging his friends, he was 
not unmindful of the claims of home. He accumulated pro- 
perty, he was diligent in business, but he clearly failed in keep- 
ing accounts. He had spent too many years roving to be of 
settled habits. His want of method, his dislike to pen work, 
his deficiency of commercial education, his foolish confidence 
in others, and, later on, his lengthened illness, operated in the 
derangement of his affairs, and a sad loss to his family. His 
appointed executors. Captain Lonsdale and Mr. James Simp- 
son, appear to have been alarmed at the confusion of book- 
keeping, and so refused to act. Lawyers took their place ; and, 
while litigation was favourable to gentlemen of the robe, it 
dissipated a magnificent property, and left the children heirs to 
a real care and a phantom fortune. 

Few feimilies have been finer in physical development, but 
few more unfortunate and neglected, than the family of John 
Batman. The only one to receive and transmit his name 
perished as a child beneath the waters of the Yarra. The 
daughters are scattered or deceased. We were acquainted with 
three of these. Maria, Mrs. Fennell, lived for years near the 
Punt, over the Yarra to Studley Park. One who married Mr. 
Bunco, the Botanist, and at one time the fellow traveller of Dr. 
Leichhardt, has also passed away. Another, gentle and beloved, 
was the partner of the much respected Town Clerk of Qeelong, 
Mr. William Weire, and left him two sons. Neighbours, who 
knew the girls as children, spoke enthusiastically of their beauty 
and vivacity. The Kingston home was a truly happy one, and 
was so esteemed by Governor and by convict servant. His Yarra 
dwelling was the resort of officials and settlers, who there found 
ungrudging hospitality. 

The progress of settlement, and the prospective sale of land 
upon the banks of the Yarra, naturally disturbed the minds of 
those who had built upon the ground so unceremoniously occu- 

170 Port Phillip Settlement. 

pied. The particular lot submitted to auction might be bought 
over their heads. Among those likely to suffer from this cause 
was Mr. Batman himself. Seeking to arrest the calamity, or 
modify its force, he sent the following memorial to Lord 
Olenelg. He dated it from Melbourne, Port Phillip, 21st March,. 
1837 :— 

" That your memorialist is a native of this colony, and has 
resided in Van Diemen's Land fifteen years, and begs to refer 
your Lordship to the late Lieut -Governor Colonel Arthur, for 
the services he rendered to that Government at different 

" That your memorialist was an extensive farmer and grazier 
in that colony, and from his frequent excursions through the 
island, when employed by the Government to suppress the out- 
rages of the aborigines upon the settlers, and also at other times 
on private business, enabled him to form a perfect knowledge of 
its capabilities for grazing. Some of the most extensive graziers 
agreed with him in opinion that it would be highly desirable 
that some outlet shoiild be obtained for the surplus stock, and 
therefore calculated that the southern parts of New South 
Wales afforded the greatest facilities for that purpose. 

^That your memorialist in May, 1855, chartered a small 
vessel, and proceeded to this place, and, after exploring it for 
some time, found the country to be well adapted for aU pur- 
poses, but more particularly for sheep. That your Lordship*s 
memorialist, during his perambulation into the interior, opened 
a friendly intercourse with the aborigines, which feeling exists 
to the present period On your memorialist's return to Van 
Diemen s Land, ne left three white servants, who accompanied 
him in his expedition, to keep up the friendly feeling then 
existing between him and the natives, with suppUes and sundry 
clothing to distribute among any other tribe who might come 
down, and whom he had not met with. 

" From the favourable report he gave of the country he passed 
over, and the treaty he. entered into with the natives, he induced 
a number of gentlemen to form themselves into a company, 
with a view of sending sheep to Port Phillip. Nearly thirty 
thousand were exported the first year, besides horses, cattle, 
&c. ; and your Lordship's memoriidist is convinced that fully 
40,000 sheep, besides other stock, will be imported this season. 
Feeling the necessity of keeping up the fi[ood understanding, 
so happily commenced, and already established, the vessel was 
sent back with further supplies with your memorialist's brother, 
wife, ind four children, to take charge of the establishment, 
and use all means in his power to protect and conciliate the 

Life of John Batman. 171 

al)oi*igine8, which he fully carried into effect up to your 
memorialist's arrival with his family, consisting of his wife, 
seven daughters, son, and thirty servants. 

'* It then became necessary for your memorialist to incur 
considerable expense in erecting suitable dwellings, stores, 
garden, &c., for their reception ; he likewise further begs leave 
to state he has imported stock and other property to the 
amount of 10,000/. sterling, and consequently trusts your 
Lordship will take the above circumstances into your most 
favouraSle consideration, and grant him the land he has im- 
proved upon, extending to about twenty acres, not being in the 
township now laid out.' 

This request could not be granted. But Mr. Batman secured 
the quiet holding of his ground on Batman's Hill, though im- 
mediately contiguous to the town lots of Melbourne. Lord 
Glenelg was so gracious as to send a message to him, through 
the Qovemor, expressive of his regret that the request could 
not be complied with. But on March 30th, 1838, he made a re- 
newed attempt There seemed a hope that the said twenty acres 
might yet be granted, especially as Lord Glenelg had expressed, 
through James Stephen, Esq., an opinion that any garden of an 
acre, formed by the Association, should not be the subject of 
general competition. 

"I have already expended," wrote Batman, "upwards of 
1,6002. in improvements on the land, and if the instructions 
issued to the authorities in New South Wales for the sale of 
land, are carried into effect, I need not inform your Lordship 
how ruinous the result would be to my laige family." He 
pleads on account of such improvements having been made 
prior to the arrival of the representations of government. 

Lord Glenelg, August 25th, 1838, informed Governor Gipps 
that he was ** of opinion that in the purchase of the land on 
which his house was built, with any adjacent land actually 
cultivated by him as a garden, or improved by any material out- 
lay previously to the arrival at Port Phillip of the general 
instructions on the subject of the disposal of crown land in the 
settlement, Mr. Batman should be allowed the fair value of such 

Mr. Batman made a final appeal to Sydney, March 12th, 
1839. Captain Lonsdale, the Resident, reported on the claim, 
May 6th. The magistrate, in forwarding his report, begs to add 

172 PoBT Pbillip Settlement. 

that " after a protracted illness Mr. Batman died last night." 
But on April 28th, 1837, Governor Bourke gives this report 
upon the appeal : — 

" I find it impossible to accede to, consistently with the view 
which has been taken by myself and the Executive Council of 
the claims of the Port Phillip Settlers. For the present, Mr. 
Batman has been informed that, although no title can be con- 
ferred upon him, and he is to abstain from erecting any addi- 
tional buildings, or inclosures, he is at liberty to continue the 
occupation of the house and garden until further notice." 

Lord Glenelg approved of the decision of His Excellency 
The widow's memorial met with no better fate. Children and 
grandchildren have alike been disregarded by the Gov^emment. 

The lingering illness of Mr. Batman kept him many months 
indoors. On May 6th, 1839, his powerful frame yielded to 
disease. His death was a shock to that infant community. 
His Mends were many, and his.^ foes were few. Among those 
who mourned thereby the loss of a true friend, was Buckley^ 
the silent man, who gave way to loud utterances of grief. Mrs. 
Batman survived him a few years. In a few years more his 
name was seldom heard. His house was carried off. The 
Sheoaks, that gave weird music from his land, were destroyed. 
And Batman's Hill itself, on which they grew, has been levelled 
by official expediency or commercial requirements. Not a 
street of Melbourne has been called after him, and his descen- 
dants are only toiling strangers in the land. Not till 1882 was 
a monument erected, by public subscription, over his remains 
in the old burial ground of Melbourne. But all having loyalty 
to the brave and sympathy for the fallen, will cry, at least, 
Alas I poor Batman. 


TMi: / 


♦^'^'jIv' >.."'>-•?'*..,,. ".^jlt;. 


•'- ^^ 

I^. P.Bay anci BaUariri& HiUs 

T iSt/ 

7bfiu»p./73. MyoruxjiJb Waterccurs&^SepV t 


batman's journal and bepoet. 

This celebrated document may now be laid before the reader, 
as it was presented to the public in the Melbourne Yeoman, 
August 30th, 1862. The original has been long preserved by 
Mr. Batman's son-in-law, Mr. William Weire, the aged and 
esteemed Town Clerk of Geelong. Through Mr. C. J. Ham, 
Mayor of Melbourne, it has been presented to the Melbourne 
Public Library. The book is an ordinary memorandum book. 

The diary runs as follows : — 

" SwTiday, May 10, 1835. — Arrived on board the Rebecca at 
half-past twelve, with Mr. Sams, who remained about twenty 
minutes, and returned about four miles down the river Tamar. 
I gave the men who brought me down one dollar. The Janet 
now on ground. Got down this tide as far as Boserears. Went 
on shore for half an hour. Got under way at eleven o'clock, and 
during this tide came to Middle Island. The natives worked 
exceeding well during the day and night, and in a great measure 
owing to their exertions we got so far down. 

" Monday, May 11, 1S35. — Left Middle Island this morning 
at nine A. M., with a light wind, and got into a small bay near 
Georgetown for the purpose of getting wood. The captam and 
I walked over the neck of land into Georgetown. The wind 
was at this time (about twelve o'clock) very fair, and we ex- 
pected to be away in a few hours, but at two o'clock the wind 
came direct from the westward, blowing exceedingly hard, 
accompanied with rain and hailstones. The vessel came round 
the point, and with diflSculty got into the cove. The Opossum 
sloop, which had gone towards the heads, came back flying, and 
anchored alongside our vessel. In beating into the bay all our 
men' got well wet through. Just taking up my quarters at 
Wilson's Inn for the night. Lent Captain Harwood three, 


174 Port Phillip Sbttlement. 

" Tuesday, May 12,1835. — The wind very high, with rain during 
the night, and this morning about nine A.M., it had every 
appearance of fine weather, and wind fair. Eleven o'clock the 
wind came fresh again from the westward, with heavy rain. I 
saw the port officer (Dr. Smith), who said that we could not get 
oat ; that the moon would be at her full to-morrow, and most 
likely we should have a change of weather. The weather now 
appears very fickle. Paid for ofiFal for dogs, 5«. 8d., to butcher. 
Four o'clock. — The wind blowing strong from due west ; about 
eight o'clock the clouds cleared off, and the night became very 
fine. The moon at its frdl, and every appearance of a fine day 
in the morning, and fur wind expected. A bullock slaughtered 
to-day in this town. The natives went out and caught three 
kangaroos for the dogs. W — d, the p— t, quite drunk at this 
inn to-day. 

" Wednesday, May 13, 1835. — During the night it began again 
to blow and rain heavily, and this morning very foggy, with rain, 
and blowing very strong again from the west ; quite impossible 
to get out to do any good up to this moment, ten o'clock. Every 
person in Georgetown smilmg at beefsteaks for breakfast this 
morning ; before this not an ounce of fresh meat could be got 
for three or four days back. The whole of this day the wind 
blowing extremely hard from the west, and not the least chance 
of its doing otherwise for some days, such is the opinion of 
Bums, an old master of Gk)vemment vessels ; also Ward (who, 
by the by, was here drinking again to-day, although I am aware 
that pilots are wanting in Launceston), and also Dr. Smith, who 
all agree that we are likely to have a week of the same kind of 
weather, and that we shall not be able to move for some time. 
The blacks caught one kangaroo to-day. Nine p. M. — The wind 
as before. I have some thoughts of sending a boat to Launceston 
to-morrow. The Sydney natives behave well up to the present 
time, also the three white men. 

*' Thursday, May 14, 1835. — Blew hard from the west, all 
night the same, squalls this morning, with rain. Could not get 
a boat this morning to forward to liiunceston. About ten o'clock 
a vessel appeared in sight. Dr. Smith, port officer, was kind 
enough to take Captain Harwood and myself on board. We 
found the brig to be the JKnd, from Sydney. Upon considera- 
tion, and also no likelihood of the vmid changing, I thought it 
most advisable to eepd Captain Harwood with this vessel to 
Launceston for biscuit, meat, &c. He got a passage, and pro- 
ceeded forthwith. On my return to the vessel another ship 
appeared in sight. The port officer went off on board, and I 
have not heard as yet what she is ; that is, what her name is. 
She is a barque; supposed to be the Belinda, from Sydney, 
which had sailed two weeks before the Hind, I sent the natives 

Batman's Journal and Repobt. 175 

out to hunt. I do not like the idea of going myself again to 
Launceston, after taking a farewell of all my friends for Bome 
time. Four o'clock p. m. — The wind still blowing strong from 
due west. The Edioard and Opossum are also wind-bound lying 
here. A vessel, of about eighteen tons, belonging to Captain 
Friend, lyin^ alongside of ours, with only one man on board. 
She is loaded with bark from Cape Portland ; the master, who 

is Captain Friend's , and paid by Government, is gone to 

Launceston to receive orders. This vessel might with the 
greatest ease be taken away by prisoners. I have taken up my 
quarters at the Waterloo Tavern, which is a very excellent inn ; 
more so than any in Launceston. The barque that came in was 
the Belinda, from Sydney, with whaleboats for Reily and Penny. 
The wind up to ten o'clock was still from the west. 

"Friday, May 15, 1835. — Fine morning; the first we have 
had since we have been here. The wind still from the west. 
A small schooner came in this morning ; supposed to be the 
William and Anne, from Port Sorrel, with lime for Captain 
Scotter. I went to day over to Captain Hassall's farm in a whale- 
boat lent me by Dr. Smith. I found that Hassall was not at 
home, but got the potatoes I went for — 3581bs. Got my dinner 
there with young Earans, and returned with the tide. The wind 
still blowing from due west. The Edward, schooner, for Circular 
Head, is also wind-bound, and lying off Middle Island. We 
expect to go out together. The captain has not returned from 
Launceston, but we expect him to-night. Ten o'clock. — The 
night fine, the wind as before. 

" Saturday, May 16, 1835. — This morning very hazy, what 
little air there is is from south-east ; this, if it freshens up, is a 
fair wind for us. I went on board the cutter, and had not been 
there long before the Shamrock appeared in sight, towed by two 
whaleboats. Captain Friend, Mr. Scott, the surveyor, and also 
Mr. Youland. Captain Friend sent me a letter on board from 
Mr. Cottrell, who informs me that the detention of the clearance 
for the Bebecca was that the port fees for her last and present 
trip had not been paid. Captain Harwood arrived shortly after 
Captain Friend, and brought me another letter from Mr. Cottrell, 

who informed me that he had forwarded my letters to Mrs. B . 

At half-past five o'clock, to my astonishment, Mrs. Batman 
arrived with our groom in the gig. She had received my letters, 
and thought I might remain here some days yet, and therefore 
thought she might as well come down. The wind still in the 
same quarter — due west. 

'* Sunday, May 17, 1835. — The wind rather favourable; this 
morning the vessel made down to the heads, with the schooner 

Edward. I drove down in my gig with Mrs. B . Went on 

board. At this time, the wind blowing hard from due west 

176 Port Phillip Settlement. 

again, we returned and visited the lighthouse, and then drove 
into town. The wind blew so hard that the vessels (three) were 
obliged to run into Kelso's Bay for the night. This evening 
Messrs. Collicott and Wright arrived and dined with us at the 
Waterloo Inn. The wind much the same during the night. 

" Monday, May 18, 1835. — This morning received a note from 
the captain. The wind was fair. We got breakfast, and asked 
Dr. Smith to take us on board in his boat. He readily con- 
sented. Mrs. Batman had the horse put to the gig to see me 
fSsdrly off the heads at sea ; she drove up to the lighthouse, and 
there remained until we were nearly out of sight, and no hope 
of our going in again. The Edioard schooner kept just before 
us all the evening. We spoke her once. I saw directly after 

the gig leave. I expected Mrs. B would remain until mom-' 

ing in case we should again put back. The wind up to twelve 
o'clock this night was westerly, and making but little way. 
Hope my dear wife may return home safe. 

" Timday, May 19, 1835. — This morning the captain said the 
wind was foul, and that we had better go into Port Sorrel, and 
that it was likely to blow hard. I agreed to this, having been 
very ill the whole of yesterday and during the night : so he ran 
into Port Sorrel this morning about nine o'clock. We anchored 
close to the heads, ready to take advantage of the first fair wind. 
I can now see the schooner a long way out to sea. We caught 
some fish for breakfast, and I then went on shore for some time, 
and returned again to the vessel. We then moved her closer 
under the island. I went again on shore to endeavour to get 
some kangaroo, but the country was so scrubby that the dogs could 
not run. The wind blew very hard this evening, or rather after- 
noon, from due west ; we were, therefore, obliged to run higher up 
the port to the proper anchorage place, near a small island, 
where two limebumers live. We got to it a little after sunset, 
and anchored for the night. I went on shore and saw the two 
men. We got some fine fish they had taken that afternoon. 
We came on board again. One of these men mentioned to me 
some good land opposite the hut across the bay they lived in. The 
wind during the fore part of the night still blowing firom due west. 

" Wednmlay, May 20, 1835. — This morning the wind, a little 
fair, blowing firom the south-west. Nine o'clock. — It still 
freshens We are about to make another trial of getting out 
again. The old man came on board this morning. I gave him 
a looking-glass, as promised last night. The wind still favour- 
able, and we got out of Port Sorrel and went along the coast. 
Passed Captain Thomas's farm that was, and also the Mersey 
River, keeping our course towards what is called Round Head. 
We were about twenty miles from Port Sorrel. About twelve 
o'clock at night the wind came from due west, blowing a gale. 

Batman's Journal and Report. 177 

" Thursday, May 21. 1835. — During this morning, or since 
twelve o clock last night, it continues to blow a gale from due 
west, and the sea running mountains high, the Rd>ecca jumping 
about like a kangaroo. This continued until daylight in the 
morning, when the captain found we were drifting very fast 
towards Georgetown, the sea running high, and blowing a gale 
from due west. He (the captain) thought it best to run in again 
to Port Sorrel, which we did and got to anchorage again about 
two P. M. This was most annoying, to lose so much time and 
to be beating and knocking about so much at sea, and gaining 
no ground whatever. I went on shore and had some talk with 
the limebumers again. A calm during the evening, that is, up 
to eleven o clock. 

'' Friday, May 2% 1835. — This morning a small draught of 
air again from the southward, but the clouds above drifting from 
the westward as before. Eleven o'clock. — Quite a calm. I went 
on shore, and walked over some good land ; it would do well for 
a grant of large size ; good water. Remained here all this day. 
The wind came inland from the west ; we could not move an 
inch. Went up the river with the limebumers, and caught a 
few fish with their net. 

• *' Saturday, May 23, 1835. — The wind during last night blew 
a gale from the west, and continued to do so until daybreak this 
morning ; the captain was obliged to let go another anchor. The 
wind up to this (eleven o'clock) still blowing from the west. No 
such thing as moving. When we are to get from this God only 
knows. Still blowing from the west. Up to ten o'clock p.m. no 
sign of a fair wind. Went on shore and delivered our letters to 
the limebumers to forward to Launceston the first opportunity. 
Got from those men four mawl-rings, three axes, one hoe, one 
cross-cut saw, four files, two throws, one shingle, and one paling 
ditto, one sawset, one gimlet, one auger, five wedges, one hand- 
saw, one spade. These tools I got, intending to leave Gumm 
and the other man at Port Philip, if everything answers and 
turns out to my expectations. Came on board ship at nine 
o'clock, and went to bed. The wind the same as ever. The 
letters were inclosed to Cottrell for Mrs. B and Mrs. Harwood. 

'* Sunday, May 24, 1835 — This morning we had a little air 
from the southward, and expected a fair wind. We got under 
w^ay and went down towards the heads, which we made about 
twelve o'clock. It became quite a calm, and we expected a 
change of wind. About two P.M. the wind came again, and, as 
usual, from due west. We are now running back to our old 
anchoring ground, near the limebumers. When shall we get 
away from this ? I am almost mad, but must wait with patience. 
I do not know what to do or how to act. During the whole of 
this evening the wind from the same quarter — west. 


178 Port Phillip Settlement, 

** Monday^ May 25, 1835. — This morning the wind blew a 
gale from the old quarter — ^west. The sea running in the heads 
mountains high. We were obliged to run further up the river, 
the wind blew so hard. We got close under the point opposite 
the limebumers' hut. The captain and I went on shore and 
walked round the island to kill time. We got from Hine, the 
limeburner, two augers, one 1^ in. the other | in. The wind 
now (two o'clock P.M.) blowing hard from west ; not the least 
likelihood of a change. This day week we left Georgetown, 
and I, my dear wife, I would rather have been at Georgetown 
all this time than in this miserable place. I thought George* 
town bad enough, but certainly not half so bad as this. When 
shall we have wind ? Oh dear ! The wind blowing hard up to 
nine o'clock from the same quarter. Sent for one of the lime- 
burners and gave him three dollars to take our letters and put 
them in the post-office, Georgetown. I have written four large 

and long letters to Mrs. B , and Captain Harwood two to 

his wife. The man is to start early in the morning. The 
natives remained on shore for the last five nights; they 
prefer it. 

" Tuesday, May 26, 1835. — This morning, about three o'clock, 
it commenced raining hard. About half-past eight A.M. the man 
came on board and took all the letters and started for Georges- 
town. I am glad they are gone. Now (ten o'clock A.M.) we 
are just going another time down to the heads. What little 
air there is is fair, but the clouds are drifting from the west. 
Although the wind, which is trifling, comes down the river, I 
suppose it will be as usual when we get to the heads — a westerly 
wind, and run back to our old anchorage again — but trust that 
the wind may be fair at last. Ten o clock P.M. — Am glad to 
find what I wished for this morning come true, as up to this 
time the wind is fair, and we are going on well towards Circular 
Head, and every prospect of a fair wind over to Port Philip. 
I am thankful for this. 

" fVednesday, May 27, 1835. — The wind remained good and 
fair up to about two o'clock this morning, when it came from 
the north-west and half north. We could not keep our course, 
therefore made the West Hunter, having run eighty miles since 
we left Port Sorrel. This was not doing so bad, and, in short, 
more than I expected when we left. We anchored about twelve 
to-day. I went on shore, and got into a large cave, which I 
measured ; it was 180 ft. from the farther end to the entrance, 
about 40 ft. wide, and in the centre about 40 ft. high. I never 
met with so large a cave before. We caught a good many fish. 
Saw the Edward schooner at some distance coming down here 
to take shells to Circular Head for lime. Now (six o'clock), 
the wind fair again ; the captain is just getting the vessel under 

Batman's Journal and Report. 179 

way again for Port Philip. I hope we may have a good run 
during the night. 

" Thursday, May 28, 1835. — We had an excellent run during 
the whole of last night, and during some part of it passed 
King's Island. About one P.M. saw New Holland, to our great 
joy, and during the evening making near it : about dusk were 
within eighteen miles of it. The captain intends to lay off 
during the night and go into Port Philip the first thing in the 
morning. Caught two barracoutas — a long fish, and good eating. 
Lost several hooks by their biting them off at the lines. I lost 
my chain hooks by their biting above the chain. 

" Friday, May 29, 1 835. — This morning as soon as daylight 
appeared saw the heads of Port Philip about eight miles off. 
With a fair wind we got between the heails about nine o'clock 
A.M., the tide running and nearly low water. A very heavy surf 
running at the entrance. The wind was light, and with some 
difficulty we got in ; width about one mile and a quarter, the 
depth five and a half to seven fathoms of water. We got well 
into the port about ten o'clock, where the water is very smooth, and 
one of the finest basins of water I ever saw, and most extensive. 
I would not recommend any one to come in until the tide was 
running in, when the surf is smooth at the mouth. As we were 
sailing up the port heard a dog on the shore howling. Cannot 
think what brought it there. Just called upon deck to see 
about 100 geese flying near the vessel; they seemed very large, 
and flew up the port before us. We anchored in a small bay 
about twelve miles up the port, and went on shore. Before we 
got into the boat we saw a dog on the sand. We put off and 
came up to the dog, which proved to be a native dog of New 
Holland, which had surely left the natives within a day or so, 
as he came quite close to my natives, and did not appear at all 
afraid, but would not allow them to take hold of him. Our 
dogs, after some time, took after him, and ran him into the 
water, where we shot him. He was a large dog, and much the 
same as I have seen in New South Wales. We fell in with the 
tracks of the natives, which were only a day or two old ; also 
huts on the bay where they had been eating mussels. It cannot 
be more than two days back. We then went into the bush 
about four miles, and passed over some beautiful land, and all 
good sheep country ; rather sandy, but the sand black and rich, 
covered with kangaroo grass about ten inches high, and as green 
as a field of wheat. We then went in another direction for 
about four or five miles over very good sheep land, gentle rises, 
with wattle and oak, with stunted gum. None, or very little, 
of this timber would split. We made the bay again, and crossed 
before we came to it a beautifiil plain, about »300 to 400 acres of 
as rich land as I ever saw, with scarce a tree upon it ; the grass 

N 2 

180 Port Phillip Settlement. 

above our ankles. We saw several forest kangaroos, but our 
dogs being on ship-board were stifiF, and 'could not catch any. 
Saw several native huts, and the marks on one tree where the 
natives had been yesterday. We then came down the bay, 
which consists of excellent land — rich black sand the worst of 
it ; the other black soil, but all covered alike thickly with grass 
of the best description. We saw some bare hills about six 
miles ofiF, which appear grassy to the top. I propose visiting 
them to-morrow. I may expect a good view of the country 
from them to the north-west. The blacks are sleeping on shore 
to-night. We walked about twelve miles. The captain quite 
knocked up. The wind blew hard up to twelve o'clock. 

** Saturday, May 30, 1835. — The wind continued to blow the 
whole of the night. The vessel rolled about much, having no 
shelter whatever. At daylight this morning we hailed the 
natives, and told them to go round a point of land and meet 
the vessel. We could not land a boat to bring them off. We 
beat round the point about fifteen miles. We then came to 
anchor. Saw the natives coming along the bay. I went on 
shore to look at the land, which appeared beautiful, with 
scarcely any timber on. On my landing I found the hills of a 
most superior description — beyond nay most sanguine expecta- 
tions. The land excellent, and very rich — a light black soil, 
covered with kangaroo grass two feet high, and as thick as it 
could stand. Good hay could be made, and in any quantity. 
The trees not more than six to the acre, and those small sheoak 
and wattle. I never saw anything equal to the land in my life. 
I walked over a considerable extent, and all of the same descrip- 
tion. This land forms an isthmus, which is about twenty miles 
long by ten miles across it — ^upwards of 100,000 acres of good 
land or more. I could see five or six miles in every direction. 
Most of the high hills were covered with grass to the summit, 
and not a tree, although the land was as good as land could be. 
The whole appeared like land laid out in farms for some hun- 
dred years back, and every tree transplanted. I was never so 
astonished in my life. When on some of these hills I could see 
on the opposite side (where I intend to visit to-morrow) large 
and extensive plains. The bay we came up to-day varied from 
six fathoms to two and a-half fathoms across the bay. We 
anchored in three fathoms water, and, to my joy and delight, we 
saw at some distance the natives* fire. I intend to go off to 
them early in the morning, and get, if possible, on a friendly 
footing with them, in order to purchase land, &c., from them. 
From what I have seen, I am quite delighted with Port Philip. 
We walked about twenty miles. 

" Sunday y May 31, 1835. — The vessel lay very snug last night 
in the three-fathom water, in a very good bay, which I gave the 

Batman's Journal and Report, 181 

name of Gellibrand's Harbour. At daylight this morning we 
landed, to endeavour to meet the natives. We had not pro- 
ceeded more than a mile and a- half when we saw the smoke at 
seven large huts. My natives stripped off and went up to them 
quite naked. When they got to the huts, found that they had 
left this morning. Then, with the natives, went round, and 
found by their tracks the direction they went in. We followed 
on the track for ten miles or nearly, when Stomert, one of my 
natives, saw a black at the distance of a mile. We were at this 
time spread along. He made a sign to us, and all made in the 
same direction. He came up to the person (an old woman), 
quite a cripple. She had no toes on one foot. We then saw 
the remainder of the tribe about a mile further on. We made 
towards them, and got up to them about one o'clock p.m. They 
seem quite pleased with my natives, who could partially under- 
stand them. They sang and danced for them. I found them 
to be only women and children; twenty of the former, and 
twenty-four of the latter. The women were all of a small size, 
and every woman had a child at her back except one, who was 
quite a young woman, and very good looking. We understood 
that the men went up the river. They had four native dogs, and 
every woman had a load of 60 lb. or 70 lb. on her back, of one 
thing or another. Each had two or three baskets, net-bags, 
native tomahawks, bones, &c. I found in one of the net-bags a 
part of a tire of a cart-wheel, which had two nail-holes in it. 
They had ground it down to a sharp edge, and put it in a stick to 
cut with as a tomahawk. They had also several pieces of iron- 
hoop, ground sharp to cut with ; several wooden buckets to 
carry water in. They had some water with them, which was 
very bad. They came back with us to where I had some 
blankets, looking-glasses, beads, handkerchiefs, sugar, and 
apples. I gave them eight pairs of blankets, thirty hand- 
kerchiefs, one tomahawk, eighteen necklaces of beads, six 
pounds of sugar, twelve looking-glasses, and a quantity of 
apples, which they seemed well pleased with. They then went 
otf again. I promised to see them again to-morrow. The 
young woman, whom I have spoken of before, gave me a very 
handsome basket of her own make. Other women gave me 
two others ; also some spears. I got a native bucket, which I 
brought on board with me. I walked out to-day over fifteen 
miles of nothing but plain and very good grass, well adapted for 
sheep. The plains are most extensive. I should think what I 
have seen to be twenty miles square. I came under a sugar- 
loaf hill, rather high, but grass to the top. This I named 
Mount Collicott, after the Postmaster-General in Van Diemen's 
Land. I never saw or could suppose there could be such exten- 
sive plains as I saw to-day. Five thousand sheep would be 

182 Port Phillip Settlement, 

almost lost upon them. But the only thing I see at present is 
the want of water, but am sure it could be obtained by digging 
in almost any place. The children were good-looking, and of 
a healthy appearance ; they were dreadfully afiFrighted by the 
dischai^e of a gun, and all of them dropped down immediately. 
I think they never heard the report or saw a gun before. We 
saw a great number of wild turkeys to-day, but could not shoot 
one. We could not have walked less than thirty miles to-day. 

** Monday f June 1, 1835. — We left the vessel this morning at 
daybreak, and went round a bay to look at and examine some 
plains and clear hills at a distance, which looked very well. We 
crossed the neck of land and came to a small river or creek, 
which we were obliged to follow up, as we could not cross, and 
I also expected to find at the head of it some fresh water. We 
followed this stream about ten miles. We saw great numbers of 
ducks and teal. The creek was about fifty to sixty yards wide, 
in some places less. We saw several places on going up, which 
the natives had made with stones across the creek, to take fish ; 
I suppose in summer time. The walls were built of stones 
about four feet high, and well done and well planned out. Two 
or three of these places following each other down the stream 
with gates to them, which they appear to stop with a bundle of 
rushes. We saw those in about ten or twelve different places 
Tip this stream. On this stream we also met with the bones of 
an animal or beast of some kind which I had never met with 
before, and cannot accurately describe. I counted twenty-four 
joints in the backbone, which are at least three inches each, 
therefore the animal must have been upwards of six feet in 
length. It must have been killed some time, and part of the 
bones were burnt. There may have been a greater number of 
bones in the back than I have seen. I have brought on board 
part of the head, thigh-bones, and some joints of the back for 
the learned gentlemen to study over on my return to Van 
Diemen's Land. We found this skeleton near one of the native 
itshing-placea We proceeded up the stream and shot five 
ducks, until it became a chain of ponds. I then found the 
water only a little brackish, and the further we went up the 
better the water got, until we came to a large pond, where I 
shot two teal. We here found the water very good, the pond 
deep, and about 150 yards in diameter. I was pleased to find 
80 good water in the middle of such extensive plains. We got 
dinner here, and then proceeded to the top of a range of clear 
hills, not very high, expecting to get a view on the other side. 
We walked about five miles across a plain, scarcely a tree upon 
it, the largest not more than eight inches in diameter, and some 
places rot one bush or tree on 500 acres of land. The whole of 
the land is of a dark red light soil, with kangaroo grass. We 

Batman's Journal and Report. 183 

got on the before-mentioned range and endeavoured to see the 
extent of country to south-south-west, but as far as the eye could 
see we saw nothing but grassy plains, of good soil, with plenty 
of grass, well adapted either for sheep or agricultural purposes. 
Looking north-north-east we could see also as far as the eye 
could carry ; and, in short, in every direction. I am sure from 
the top of these hills we could see thirty miles in every direc- 
tion of plain land ; this at least, if not a considerable quantity 
more. The only thing that will be felt on these plains will be 
the want of timber. There is none that is fit for sawing or 
splitting. Brush-yards or fencing may be made for sheep or 
cattle. A gig or carriage may be driven in any direction for 
twenty miles without the possibility of upsetting. Those exten- 
sive plains I have named Arthur's Plains, in honour of Governor 
Arthur, of Van Diemen's Land. There are also two mounts 
adjoining the Mount Collicott, which I have named Mount 
Cottrell and Mount Connelly, after Mr. Cottrell, of Van 
Diemen's Land, and also Mr. Connelly, of the same place. 
Another mound, which is about fifteen miles distant from these 
mounts, and where appears most beautiful plains under it, and 
nearly to the top clear of timber, bears north-west from Mount 
Collicott, — this I have named Mount Solomon, after Mr, J. 
Solomon, of Launceston. I intend to proceed to-morrow up 
through the country for several days, and meet the vessel at the 
river or head of the bay, if the weatiier will permit. This day 
it rained nearly the whole of the time we were out, with a 
hailstorm, and the wind blowing hard from the west — very cold. 
We saw the smoke of the natives under Mount Collicott. 

" Tuesday^ June 2, 1835. — This morning the natives came on 
board to pack up for a start, but owing to the rain, which was 
heavy, and the fog, we could not see any distance before us, and 
it would be very uncomfortable traveUing : therefore, in order 
that we should lose no time, I proposed to go with the vessel 
to the river, and from thence take my departure into the 
bush. We made the river about three P.M. The whole of the 
coast or beach was clear of timber, and constant plain, covered 
with grass ; this, I should think, was at least thirty miles. Near 
the heads of the river on the point is nothing but sheoak. We 
endeavoured to get up the river, but found the water not more 
than one fathom. However, the channel will be looked for 
to-morrow, and I have hopes we shall be able to find a good 
channel up for some distance. I went on shore this evening, 
and found the land good, covered with kangaroo grass, and 
thinly timbered with sheoak, as I have before stated. We saw 
great numbers of pelicans and swans, some scores also of ducks 
and teal. The coast, or bay, in every direction I have been, 
seems to possess a good number of quail ; more than I ever saw 

184 Port Phillip Settlement. 

in any place before. They appear to be of two kinds — pno a 
dark, the other a light bird ; the former twice as large as the 
latter. I shall to-morrow take my departure up the river, if the 
weather permits. 

" Wednesday, June 3, 1835. — After getting everything ready 
this morning left the vessel about 9 o'clock. I weut up the 
river about five miles, sounding as we went, and found from 
seven feet to nine feet water in the channel. I landed and 
joined the party. They had walked about seven miles over a 
grassy country, thinly timbered with sheoak, and scarce another 
tree. A few miles further I came to the banks of the river, 
which appeared deeper than where 1 had landed from the boat. 
On both sides the laud open, and covered with excellent kan- 

Saroo grass. In passing up the banks passed over several rich 
ats, about a mile wide, and two or three long, not a tree, and 
covered with kangaroo grass above my knees. Hundred of tons 
of hay could here be made of the above grass. The land of the 
best description, equal to any in the world. It does not appear 
to be ever overflowed. I followed up this river in all about 
twenty-six miles, and found on both sides, as far as the eye can 
see, open plains, with a few sheoak trees. We did not fall in 
with any fresh water the whole of this day, and just at sunset 
w^hen about to stop for the night on the banks of the river, I 
saw a damp place. I ordered one of the men (Gumm) to make 
a hole with a stick, which he did about two feet deep, and in 
less than one hour we had a plentiful supply of good soft water, 
and by 10 o'clock this evening the hole was running over the 
top ; the water beautiful and clear. This I am certain could be 
done in most places, and would at once do away with the 
apparent deficiency of water. Over the country I have as yet 
travelled, we saw several forest kangaroos and one native dog. 
The river varies from 100 yards to 60 yards up it, and at this 
place it is not more than 40 yards. I think it will get smaller 
Bs we go Bp. I have named this place Gumm's Well. 

" Thursday, June 4, 1835. — Started this morning up the river 
at 8 A.M. After following up the river for four or five miles, I 
went oflF to get a vie w of Mounts CoUicott, Cottrell, and Connelly, 
as well as Mount Solomon. From this I saw at a great distance 
two other mounts, which I named Mount Wedge and Mount 
Sams. Those are in a range with Mount Solomon. Shortly after 
taking the distance and bearing of these mounts, three emus 
started across a beautiful flat, or rather high plain. I followed 
the dogs for a mile or more, and saw the run for two or three 
miles further. When on these plains, and where I now stand 
vrriting this, I think I could safely swear that I can see every 
way over plains twenty miles distance, with scarcely any timber, 
and covered with kangaroo grass eight and ten inches high. 

Batman's Journal and Report. 185 

This, I think, is the average. Most beautiful sheep pasturage 
I ever saw in my life. I am sure I can see 50,000 acres of land 
in one direction, and not fifty trees ; in short, the only trees in 
the great extent I have mentioned are sheoak : none more than 
twelve inches in diameter. The only thing that will be felt in 
a short time, or a few years, will be the want of firewood. 
Followed on, still continumg on the plain for about eight miles, 
when we made the river again, which, I am happy to say, 
contained excellent water. We all had a hearty drink, and 
crossed over the river on some of the richest ground I ever 
saw in my life. Marshmallows with leaves as broad as cabbage- 
leaves and as high as my head. We then crossed the river 
again at a native ford, and on a tree where they had got some 
bark, a wattle, was scratched some figures representing blacks 
hi the act of fighting. I copied the same as near as I could. 
We went up a small rise of excellent soil, with grass above my 
knees. We then kept up the river for a few miles, and stopped 
for the night in a comer alongside the river. I gave it the 
name of Gumm's Comer. After I got a little tea and some- 
thing to eat, I, with four of my natives, took a circuit of about 
thirteen miles up the river, which was coming from a north 
direction. I found the whole of the land very good, with excel- 
lent warm hills and valleys, with grass three feet high where it 
had not been burnt late in the autumn, which is the case in 
most parts. The young grass is now ten and twelve inches 
high, and beautiful feed for any kind of stock. We heard a dog 
howl this evening about 8 o'clock. The weather during the time 
we have been here very good and warm. Walked about thirty 
miles to-day. 

" Friday, June 5, 1835. — Left the river this morning for west- 
north-west direction. The river came from a north one. I 
intend to cross some large plains and get into tiers on the other 
side. Crossed the plains, which were very extensive on all 
sides as far as I could see. We saw a large flock of emus to- 
day, but too far for the dogs to come up with them. Saw some 
wild geese. Crossed three streams of fresh water, and both 
sides of each of the banks were steep, but covered with grass to 
the edge of the water. In some parts of the creeks the water 
did not run, but large and deep ponds remained in the bed. 
The three creeks I crossed I am inclined to think are the same, 
running in different directions, and empties itself into the river. 
However, this country is well watered. So far, the timber is 
the only thing I now see that is deficient. ' We passed a small 
forest, about two miles in length, of sheoak ; about eight or ten 
to the acre, and from twelve inches downwards in size. Good 
shelter and excellent gi-ass. The last creek I have named 
Eliza's Creek, after Mrs. B . The whole land I have passed 

186 Port Phillip Settlement. 

up to this time (twelve o'clock) is, as usual, very good, and plains 
seen twenty and thirty miles distant. Ascended the top of a 
beautiful hill, bare of timber at the top, with a few sheoak on 
the sides. We here have, from where I am sitting, a view all 
round ; I think I may say forty miles, or more, each way of 
beautiful plains of the best description of grass. From east to 
west I think there is more than eighty miles certain, and from 
this to the river or bay is fifty miles, all plains, and thirty miles 
due north, all plains, with here and there a few gentle rising 
hills and valleys of the best description. We have just seen the 
smoke of the natives in an easterly direction, and going to take 
that course. We kept in the direction of the smoke about six- 
teen miles, over fine plains, and crossed a fresh-water creek just 
at the junction of another running from north-north-east. We 
then crossed plains again, and came into a small forest about 
two miles through, some gum and box, that would either do for 
splitting or sawing, with sheoak. This forest was thickly 
covered with excellent grass. We caught one of the largest 
kangaroos I ever saw; more than nine feet long. We then 
came upon beautiful open plains, with a few wattle and oak, 
gentle rising hills of very nch black soil, with grass up to our 
middle, and as thick as it could stand. It was very bad walk- 
ing through it. This land I think was richer than any high land 
I have seen before. We came on to a small valley, and, to 
our joy, found a teatree scrub, at the upper end of a small creek 
miming south-east. Here we found good water at sunset, and 
remained for the night. 

" Saturday Jwie 6, 1835. — ^The wind blew hard all night, with 
some rain. We started this morning at eight A.H. to find the 
natives. We travelled over as good country as I have yet met 
with, and, if possible, richer land, thinly timbered. The grass 
was mostly three and four feet high, and as thick as it could lie 
on the ground. The land quite black. We walked about eight 
miles when we fell in with the tracks of the natives, and shortly 
after came up with a family — one chief, his wife, and three 
children. I gave him a pair of blankets, handkerchiefs, beads, 
and three knives. He then went on with us, and crossed a 
fresh-water creek. The land on each side excellent. He took 
us on, saying he would take us to the tribe, and mentioned the 
names of chiefs. We walked about eight miles, when, to our 
great surprise, we heard several voices calling after us. On 
looking back we saw eight men all armed with spears, &c. 
When we stopped they threw aside their weapons and came 
very friendly up to us. After shaking hands, and my giving 
them tomahawks, knives, &c., they took us with them about a 
mile back, where we found huts, women, and children. After 
some time, and full explanation, I found eight chiefs amongst 

Bathan*s Journal and Report. 187 

them, who possessed the whole of the country near Port Phillip. 
Three brothers, all of the same name, are the principal chiefs, 
and two of them men of six feet high, and very good looking ; 
the other not so tall, but stouter. The other five chiefs were 
fine men. After a AiU explanation of what my object was, I 
purchased two large tracts of land from them — ^about 600,000 
acres, more or less — and delivered over to them blankets, knives, 
looking-glasses, tomahawks, beads, scissors, flour, &c., as pay- 
ment for the land, and also agreed to give them a tribute, 
or rent, yearly. The parchment the eight chiefs signed this 
afternoon, delivering to me some of the soil of each of them, 
as giving me full possession of the tracts of land. This took 
place alongside of a beautiful stream of water, and from whence 
my land commences, and where a tree is marked four ways to 
-know the comer boundary. The country about here exceeds 
anything I ever saw, both for grass and richness of soil. The 
timber light, and consists of sheoak and small gum, with a few 
wattle. My natives gave the chiefs and their tribe a grand 
corroboree to-night. They seemed quite delighted with it. 
Each of the principal chiefs has two wives and several children 
each. In all, the tribe consists of forty-five — men, women, and 

" Sunday, June 7, 1835. — Detained this morning some time 
drawing up triplicates of the deeds of the land I purchased, 
and delivering over to them more property on the baiiks of the 
river, which I have named Batman's Creek, after my good self. 
Just before leaving, the two principal chiefs came and brought 
their two cloaks, or royal mantles, and laid them at my feet, 
wishing me to accept the same. On my consenting to take 
them, they placed them round my neck, and even my shoulders, 
and seemed quite pleased to see me walk about with them on. 
I asked them to accompany me to the vessel They very 
properly pointed to the number of young children, and then at 
their feet, meaning that they could not walk, but said they 
would come down in a few days. I had no trouble to find out 
their sacred marks. One of my natives (Bungett) went to a 
tree, out of sight of the women, and made the Sydney natives' 
mark; after this was done I took, with two or three of my 
natives, the principal chief, and showed him the mark on the 
tree ; this he knew immediately, and pointed to the knocking 
out of the teeth. This mark is always made when the ceremony 
of knocking out the tooth in the front is done. However, after 
this I desired, through my natives, for him to make his mark, 
which, after looking about for some time, and hesitating some 
few minutes, he took the tomahawk and cut out in the bark of 
the tree his mark — which is attached to the deed, and is the 
signature of their country and tribe. About ten A.M. I took 

188 Port Phillip Settlement. 

my departure from these interesting people. I think the 
principal chief stands six feet four inches high, and his brother 
six feet two inches, and as fine looking men as ever I saw. I 
crossed Batman's Creek, and walked through a thinly-timbered 
forest of box, gum, sheoak, and wattle, but thickly covered with 
excellent grass. Most of the land was as rich as I ever saw in 
my life. Qrass three and four feet high, and many places, where 
a fire had been, thistles five feet high. Impossible for grass 
to stand thicker on the ground. We walked over this land 
about twelve miles down my side line, in a south-west direction, 
when we came to another creek of good water in a most 
beautiful valley, which I named Lucy's Creek and Maria's 
Valley, extending several miles, and fine land, and altogether 
a most enchanting spot. After leaving this we crossed some 
plains of good land, and then came into a forest, thinly timbered 
with gum, wattle, and sheoak. The land, for the first time, was 
rather sandy, with a little gravel, but the grass about ten inches 
high and like a field of wheat, so very good and green. I have 
not felt the slightest frost, or anything like it. We then made 
the river I had gone up a few day's before, intending to come 
on the opposite side of the river and hail the vessel. I crossed on 
the banks of the river a large marsh, about one mile and a half 
wide by three or four miles long, of the richest description of 
soil — not a tree. When we got on the marsh the quails began 
to fiy, and I think at one time I can safely say I saw 1,000 
quails flying, at one time — quite a cloud. I never saw anything 
like it before. I shot two large ones as I was walking along. 
At the upper end of this marsh is a large lagoon. I should 
think, from the distance I saw, that it was upwards of a mile 
across, and full of swans, ducks, geese, &c. After crossing this 
marsh, we passed through a tea-tree scrub, very high and thick. 
We expected on getting through this to make the vessel in an 
hour or two, but to our great surprise, when we got through the 
scrub we found ourselves on a much larger river than the one 
we went up and had just come down. It was now near sunset, 
and it would take two days to head the river again, so, after 
some time, I made up my mind that two of the Sydney natives 
should swim across the smallest river, and go to the vessel and 
bring up the boat. Bullet and Bungett swam, and had to go 
about seven miles, which they did, and were back again with 
the boat in three hours. I was glad to see them, as we had got 
on the point at the junction of the rivers, where the tide had 
no^ risen up to our ankles. The party was first, with the dogs, 
taken to the opposite bank, and then the boat with old Bull, 
who had cut his foot, took me in quick time to the vessel, where 
my travelling I hope (on foot) will cease for some time, having 
done everything I could possibly wish. I shall now leave Gumm, 


Batman's Journal and Report. 189 

Dodd, Thompson, Bullet, Bungett, and old Bull on my land at 
Indented Head, with three months' supply of meat, flour, tea, 
sugar, &c. They (the chiefs) made me a present of three native 
tomahawks, some spears, wommeras, boomerangs, &c. 

** Monday, June 8, 1835. — The wind foul this morning for 
Indented Head. We tried, but could not get out of the river. 
The boat went up the large river I have spoken of, which comes 
from the east, and, I am glad to state, about six miles up found 
the river all good water and very deep. This will be the place 
for a village. The natives on shore. 

" Tuesday, June 9, 1835. — We are now under way, with a light 
wind, for Indented Head, whence I hope to send all the things 

with the men. About P.M. made Indented Head, and 

commenced landing the goods immediately, as the port was very 
rough and the wind increasing. We landed all in four boatsfuU 
— everything. I pointed out the spot where Gumm is to com- 
mence a garden, hut, or house, &c. The whole of my natives 
at last wanted to stop; however, I let Pigeon and Joe the 
Marine stop with the other three natives already mentioned, 
making in all eight persons. They have got now three months' 
supply or more, with a large quantity of potatoes to put in the 
ground, and all kind of other garden seeds, as well as pip and 
atones of fruit. I left apples and oranges with them, also the 
six dogs, and gave Gumm written authority to put off any 
person or persons that may trespass on the land I have 
purchased from the natives. They got everything landed 
in an hour, and we shook hands with them, and off we came 
to the heads, which we got clear of, by eight o'clock, with a 
fair wind. 

" Wednesday y June 10, 1835. — Made a good run last night. 
Got about eighty miles. The wind still fair. About twelve 
o'clock last night saw Van Diemen's Land. 

" Thursday, June 11, 1835. — Got into Georgetown Heads at 
six o'clock this morning, with a fair wind up the river. We 
expect to be at Launceston with this tide." 

Batman's journal has provoked considerable discussion. EIrrors 
of dates and description have been detected. It is generally 
forgotten that the founder was but a rough bushman, provided 
with the limited education of this period, and with his 
school learning at Parramatta sadly damaged by his wild and 
adventurous life. This journal betrays in its orthograph)% 
caligraphy, and composition the hand of an energetic and a 
busy man, but not a scholarly one. The times in which ho 
lived were not the exact ones of these modem railway days. 
Men were not particular to an hour, nor precise about the day. * 

190 Port Phillip Settlement. 

Almanacs were rare sights in the bush of Van Diemen's Land, 
and many a letter, as well as journal, needed a revision as to 
dates. Batman's Diary, as perceived, begins with his leaving 
Launceston on May 10th. In a letter which was evidently pre- 
pared by his more careful friend, Mr. Wedge, the day is called 
May 12th, Other mistakes of this kind were doubtless 
committed, but were quite unintentional, and by no means 
invalidate the truth of the narrative detailed. There are now 
no means of knowing whether he posted every evening, or did 
the whole according to memory, when on shipboard returning. 

The Rebecca was about thirty tons. Batman's companions 
were, besides Captain Harwood and the mate, Mr. Bobson, 
three white men, James Gumm, William Dodd, and Alexander 
Thompson, with seven Sydney blacks. The natives were Pigeon, 
Joe King, Old Bull, Bungett, Marine, and another. They had 
been employed with Bobinson and Batman in the search for 
Tasmanian aborigines during the terrible Black War of Van 
Diemen's Land, and were more or less civilized. 

The party had much difficulty to get out of the Tamar into 
Bass's Strait, one of the most dangerous of seas, and exposed to 
sudden and severe gales, with a wild, rugged coast, and tempest- 
tossed granitic isles. The prevalent western wind is drawn from 
the Southern Ocean into a sort of gullet. The weather story 
of the journal is no uncommon one in that autumn month of 
May. The picture given of a drunken pilot is only according 
to the manners of the age. It was then a providence for the 
inhabitants of the township when a bullock was killed, and the 
incident recorded by Batman marks the remote period of 
colonial history. 

Batman's family relations are rather pleasantly introduced. 
Though forty miles from George Town and the Heads, the wife 
got driven down to see her lord, who was then detained by bad 
weather, and she determined to see the last of him in a farewell 
from the lighthouse. Such attention forced from him the 
observation in his journal of May 18th : '* Hope my dear wife 
may return home safe." 

When starting, the weather seemed little better, and the 
vessel put back into port Sorell, to the comfort of our hero, 
who had been " very ill the whole of yesterday and during the 
night." That was not the steamboat era of Australia. It was 

Batman's Journal and Report. 191 

no improvement when they got outside again, and the vessel 
was "jumping about like a kangaroo/' There was no help for 
it but a return to Port Sorell, though eleven days since the 
start from Launceston, No wonder he wrote : " When shall we 
get away from this ? I am almost mad, but must wait with 
patience." The one consolation he had was intercourse with 
his wife, since the diary has it : "I have written four large and 
long letters to Mrs. B." 

Starting again, he had to anchor soon, and spent some time 
inspecting a cave 180 feet long, 40 broad, and in one part 40 
high. It was on the 28th that the first view was gained of the 
Australian shore, though the party had to lie ofif for the night. 
The well-known iZtp shook the little craft as it entered Port 
Phillip Heads, but the voyagers were delighted enough with 
the spacious bay. 

Batman received his first welcome, or, perhaps, warning off, 
from a dingo, or native dog, at the landing, a dozen miles inside 
the port. What happened was a sad forecast of that which 
should befall the aboriginal Mends of the native dogs. ** Our 
dogs," writes Batman, " after some time, took after him, and 
ran him into the water, where ive shot him" As the European 
dog appeared the instinctive hunter and destroyer of the wilder 
quadruped, so has the advent of the White seemed ever the 
herald of woe and death to the Black. Though the track of 
the forest tribes was seen, the people themselves were not 
discovered. In the first walk of twelve miles, the captain was 
knocked up with fatigue. What kind of a country it was is 
well described in the journal : " Covered with kangaroo grass 
about ten inches high, and as green as a field of wheat ; very 
good sheep land ; as rich land as I ever saw, with scarce a tree 
upon it ; excellent land, covered alike thickly with grass of the 
best description; hills of a most superior description, beyond 
my most sanguine expectations ; kangaroo grass two feet high, 
and a^ thick as it could stand ; most of the high hills were 
covered with grass to the summit ; the whole appeared like 
land laid out in farms for some hundred years back." He 
might well exclaim : " I was never so astonished in my life " ; 
and add : " From what I have seen, I am quite delighted with 
Port Phillip." 

Indented Head was the scene of much glowing description. 

192 Poet Phillip Settlement. 

There he fell in with some natives, to his great satisfaction. " I 
intend," said he, " to go off to them early in the morning, and 
get, if possihle, on a friendly footing with them, in order to pur- 
chase land, &c., from them." While some have doubted if they 
had any land to sell, others might reasonably wonder what 
articles of merchandize could be comprehended in the term &€- 
of the adventurer. But these dark ones of the forest proved to 
be only a score of women, with two dozen children. The elder 
boys were, doubtless, out with the men hunting ; yet, that so 
many little ones were there is not a little remarkable, seeing 
that so very few were known a few years after our countrymen 
went thither. " Every woman had a child at her back except 
one," was Batman's observation. Since then, especially of 
recent years, scarcely a child was to be seen ; and even when an 
occasional half-caste appeared, an infant of the true blood was 
almost unknown. It was less than twenty years after this 
memorable visit that the following article was to be read in the 
Geelong Advertiser : — 

" This once numerous tribe of natives, who claimed dominion 
over the hunting-grounds at Indented Head, is gradually 
decaying. Another of the mothers of the race, " Old Mary," as 
she was called, after a short illness, expired last night. Her 
withered appearance, stunted form, and positively hideous 
features, joined to a disposition the reverse of placid, rendered 
her no great favourite among the white population, and even 
the members of her own tribe did not appear to entertain great 
affection for her. She died unattended save by a pack of 
yelping dogs, her protSg^s, in a mia-mia near the water-hole, 
where she was discovered this morning by her son Peter and 
others. They appeared in no way disconcerted at the event, 
and upon being interrogated, simply replied : ' Oh, she is very 
old. She my mudder. She been plenty sick ; cold come take 
her breath away.' A grave was dug for her remains near the 
spot where she expired. Before committing her to it, they 
doubled her body up so as to bring her knees and neck close 
together, and bound them in that state with cord. They then 
pitched her, with less ceremony than we should the carcass of a 
dead dog, into the hole prepared for her reception, and con- 
signed her pannikins, billy and rug to the same spot. They 
then filled up the hole, and, after lighting a fire at the head of 
the grave, left the spot. They seem to labour under the im- 
pression that after a short time ' she jump up white lubra,' and's Journal and Report. 193 

they yerj considerately left her the necessary apparatus to make 
her tea on her return to the upper world." 

The acquired civilization of the Indented Head natives had 
not improved them. Disorganization of tribal and family 
feelings had clearly set in. ''Old Mary" had doubtless been 
among the women receiving Batman, the mother, perchance, of 
the good-looking young woman who gave him a very handsome 
basket of her own make. But the Bellerine correspondent addn 
a story of the tribe that marks the consequence of white 
settlement : — 

"There is now among them a very interesting half-black 
child, about four years of age, belonging to a young lubra. The 
reputed father is said by the black fellows to be a rich * gentle- 
man ' a long way off. It is much to be lamented this poor 
little fellow should be left to endure the hardships of the 
nomadic life led by the natives, and still more to be deplored 
that he should be left to the moral contamination apparently 
inseparable from the race." He adds : " Could not the gerUlenian, 
the reputed father, or some one on his behalf, claim the child, 
and rescue it from the destruction which at present' appears to 
await it ? " 

On the Sunday, May Slst, Batman walked 30 miles, 
returning to the ship. The next day he followed up a stream 
for ten miles over a dark red light soil, and, from a range, 
looked round for thirty miles over the Arthur's Plains. He 
named mounts after his friends Collicott, Cotterell, Connelly, 
and Solomon ; the last was probably Mount Blackwood. The 
Tuesday was wet, but the Wednesday saw the party going for 
twenty-six miles up a river, over rich flats without timber. Two 
other peaks of the Yow Yang range were named, June 4th, 
after Messrs. Wedge and Sam. He then exclaims : " Most 
beautiful sheep pasture I ever saw in my life I" That day 
covered another thirty miles. 

He now passed on in a west-north-west direction over several 
creeks, though still remarking a deficiency of timber. One of 
these streams he called Miza, after his wife. Ascending a hil), 
he thought he looked "forty miles or more each way of 
beautiful plains of the best description of grass." There 
observing smoke of a native fire, he set off for the camp light, 


194 Port Phillip Settlement. 

Plains were now varied by "gentle rising hills of very rich 
black soil, with grass up to our middle, and as thick as it could 
stand." Richer land, if possible, was passed next day in the 
search after the blacks. It was on the 6th of June that 
Batman came up to a family, who were soon joined by eight 
armed men. 

It seems so strange that our countryman should have 
travelled for a week without meeting the aborigines, though, 
probably enough, well observed by them. The native women 
and children were seen on the Exe or Werribee. But the first 
men he encountered were not far from the site of Melbourne. 
As he gave the 27th of May for his interview with the lubras 
in the account he rendered to Governor Arthur, though the 
Slst in his journal, we may presume the date June 6th, for the 
masculine assemblage, should have been some days earlier in 
the month. According to the chart prepared by Mr. Wedge, 
Batman was at Qeelong on the 6th of June. It was this wrong 
dating when he made up his journal that has caused such con* 
fusion, and made his narrative absurdly incorrect. Thus, Mr. 
Fawkner made merry with it after this fashion : " His precious 
deed asserts that he did travel in these two days one hundred 
and sixty miles, and then he was nearly forty miles from the 
vessel ; yet, if his account is to be believed, he went over 
another forty miles, making two hundred miles through the 
wilds of the colony, on foot." 

But, according to Mr. Wedge, " he landed, and traversed the 
country hastily in the vicinity of Station Peak, where he fell in 
with some natives. He afterwards explored up the banks of 
the Saltwater river ; from thence to the westward to the head 
of the Moona Ponds, proceeding north and north-east from 
thence till he fell in with the Jigga Jigga tribe of natives, and 
then returned to the marsh or swamp near the present site of 
Melbourne, and joined his vessel, which had waited for him at 
or near to William's Town." 

His interview with these blacks formed the most important 
part of his mission, as it was with them he made his celebrated 
treaty. He speaks of eight chiefs among them, not aware, as it 
would seem, that no chiefs rule the Australian tribes. The 
three brothers variously called Jigga Jigga, Jaga Jaga, or Jika 
Jika, were strapping fellows, and very good-looking. The whole 

Batman's Journal and Report. 195 

tribe, men, women, and children, were forty-five in number. 
The most commanding in appearance he concluded were 
chiefs, though neither hereditary nor elected ones. 

The site of this agreement — a distant imitation of William 
Penn's treaty with the Indians — is thus described by Batman : 
" This took place alongside of a beautiful stream of water, and 
from tlience my land commences, and where a tree is marked 
four ways to know^ the comer boundary. The country about 
here exceeds anything I ever «aw, both for grass and richness of 
soil ; the timber light, and consists of sheoak and small gum, 
with a few wattle." It was, in fact, on the Merrri Creek, 
at no great distance from the grounds of the Melbourne 
University. Mr. Rusden remarks that it was near where 
the " Old Colonists' Association of Victoria " have a site 
on which to build their Founders* Homes. 

There Batman held a conference with the men of Port 
Phillip, by means of the Sydney natives with him. How this 
was done, when the languages of the two companies were so 
different, has occasioned no little ridicule. Still many are led 
to decide with the learned Mr. Gumer : " Whether from a simi- 
larity of language, or freemasonry, Batman could not discover, 
but his Sydney natives and these aborigines seemed to under- 
stand each other." Batman certainly believed they did so 
understand, although he was interested in coming to such a 
conclusion. He notes their gift of soil as an evidence of the 
transfer of ownership. But he took no pains to discover if this 
simple tribe, or portion of one, had really rights over so large a 
district as that he claimed, or whether the hunting-grounds of 
neighbours, and probably tribal foes, were included within the 

It is possible to suppose that the Sydney blacks, if only by 
clever dumb motions, made the conditions of sale known to the 
forest men, though the latter could not divine the meaning of 
the parchment affirmation of the agreement. Yet Batman and 
others saw no difficulty in accepting the theory of a signature. 
As may be seen in another place, the names of the contracting 
parties were duly written down by the Europeans, but the 
apology for the cross was a mysterious wriggling, snake-like line, 
which was taken for the totem or token of the tribe. Consul 
Finn of Jerusalem gives some odd marks, or ansajn, in use 

o 2 

196 Port Phillip Settlement. 

among the Arab tribes over Jordan,, observing, "They are 
characters adopted by Arabs to distinguish one tribe from another, 
and commonly used by branding the camels " ; and again : " I 
have seen them scratched upon walls in many places frequently 
by Bedaween." For all that, Arabs are not like Australian 
blacks, unacquainted with letters. The ingenuity of the con- 
trivance adopted by the Sydney blacks to ascertain the token of 
the Port Phillipians is thus described in the journal : — 

" I had no trouble to find out their sacred marks. One of 
my natives (Bungett) went to a tree, out of sight of the women, 
and made the Sydney natives' mark. After this was done, I 
took, with two or three of my natives, the principal chief, and 
showed him the mark on the tree. This he knew immediately, 
and pointed to the knocking out of the teeth. This mark is 
always made when the ceremony of knocking out the tooth in 
the front is done. However, after this I desired, through my 
natives, for him to make his mark, which, after looking about 
some time, and hesitating some few minutes, he took the toma- 
hawk and cut out in the bark of the tree his mark, which is 
attached to the deed, and is the signature of their country and 

From this it would appear that Batman copied the hiero- 
glyphics cut on the tree, and placed that mark on the deed at 
the end of each of the supposed signatures of the chiefs. 

This little affair concluded. Batman proceeded on his way 
from the Merri Creek. Qoing some distance further, he gave 
names, after his two daughters, to Lucy's Creek and Maria's 
Valley. He now came to a marsh, which we recognize as what 
was afterwards called Batman's Swamp of Melbourne, " of the 
richest description of soil — ^not a tree." He reached it from 
one river, but found another on the other side ; saying, " To our 
great surprise, when we got through the scrub (tea-tree) we 
found ourselves on a much larger river than the one we went up 
and had just come down." He had left the Saltwater River, 
and had come upon the banks of the Yarra Yarra, still partially 
lined in that part with a tea-tree scrub. Proceeding to meet 
the Sydney natives sent on for the boat, he waited for their 
approach at the very junction of these two streams. " I was 
glad to see them " (Bullet and Bungett), says the journal, " as 
we had got on the point at the junction of the rivers, where the 
tide had now risen up to our ankles." 


Batman's Journal and Report. 197 

Allowing for the fsLct that Batman muat have known not only 
Flinders' chart, but the sketch of the Yarra Yarra mouth as 
given by Mr. Surveyor Grimes in 1803, yet no one will dispute 
the honour of John Batman having then been on the site of 
Melbourne beside that river. It was on the Monday, June 8th, 
or two days after the Conference, that the boat went up six 
miles to what we now know as the Falls of the Yarra, and there 
found " the river all good water and very deep." 

But his next observation is the all-important one: ''This 
WILL BE THE PLACE FOR A VILLAGE/' That expression shows 
the mind of Batman, when on his first visit to Port Phillip. 
Mr. Rusden, in his Discovery, Survey, and SettletnerU of Port 
Phillip, writes as follows : — 

" By these words and this map the question of the founding 
of Melbourne by any private person may fairly be tested. The 
words were written on June 25th, 1835, and both the words and 
map are mentioned in an English Parliamentary Paper, having 
been transmitted to England by Governor Arthur. Mr. 
Fawkner, it must be remembered, did not arrive in Port 
Phillip till October, 1835. The map includes, as Batman's terri- 
tory, seven miles of the Yarra Yarra above the junction of the 
Saltwater River ; it colours, for Settlement purposes, both sides 
of the Yarra Yarra in a block rectangular on its eastern boun- 
dary; Batman's lagoon and the lands inclosed in the angle 
between the rivers it reserves as a public common ; the north 
bank of the Yarra Yarra it marks as part of Batman's terri- 
tory, about as far as the heart of Richmond ; while the whole 
of the modem Emerald Hill and Sandridge are marked in com- 
mon with the site of Melbourne as ' reserved for a Township 
and other public purposes.' Such being the fEtcts, it may be 
said, how could Fawkner or any one on his behalf claim the 
title of Founder of Melbourne ? " 

Batman returned by ship to Indented Head. In his journal 
he says : *' I shall now leave Gumm, Dodd, Thompson, Bullet, 
Bungett, and Old Bull on my land of Indented Head, with 
three months' supply of meat, flour, tea, sugar, &c." The entry 
two days later shows Batman's intention to commence a settle- 
ment on Indented Head : — 

"I pointed out the spot where Gumm is to commence a 
garden, hut, or house, &c. The whole of my natives (Sydney) 
wanted to stop ; however, I let Pigeon and Joe the Marine stop. 

198 Port Phillip Settlij:ment. 

with the other three natives akeady mentioned (Bullet, Bungett, 
and Old .Bull), making in all eight persons. They have got now 
three months' supply or more, with a large quantity of potatoes 
to put in the ground, and all kinds of other garden seeds, as well 
as pips and stones of fruit." 

He seems to have had his suspicions even then that some 
would quickly be on his track if he were Successful. Unable 
to drive off new comers, he could at least adopt the modern 
civilized method of warning them as traspassers. We, there- 
fore, read in the last day's journal ashore, Tuesday, June 9th : — 
" I left apples and oranges with them (his men) also the six 
dogs, and gave Gumm written authority to put off any person 
or persons that may trespass on the land I have purchased from 
the natives." A territory of half a million of acres, with a sea 
frontage of scores of miles, might rather puzzle the bailiff 
powers of Gumm to preserve ; but, by having his camp near 
the entrance to the Bay, he was in a position to deliver a 
message to any intrusive ship. 

The difficulties in the way of Batman's approach to the new 
M Dorado were trying to the adventurer ; but the winds and 
waves were more agreeable to the victorious explorer. In two 
days he got into George Town, expecting to be in Launceston 
with the tide. 

Thus ended this memorable visit. Batman did what any one 
else might have done, but did not do. It was the old story of 
Columbus and the egg. Once shown the way, it was easy for 
others to follow. As Columbus, so unjustly treated by his con- 
temporaries, has been honoured by succeeding generations, so 
Batman, slighted and neglected in life, will be hailed in after 
years as the founder of a great nation, the revealer of a new 
world of enterprise and progress. 

Mr. Batman's conductor to Port Phillip, Captain Robson, has 
given his Log (with remarks) of his first trip to Melbourne from 
Launceston, on board the Bebecca, with Batman's party: — 

" June 15th, cleared the Heads, wind N.W. ; out twenty miles 
to westward ; bore up for Port Sorell. 16th, put to sea, but 
obliged to bear up. I7th, put to sea, wind S.W., steady breeze, 
but heavy sea from N.W. 18th, winds variable. 19th, wind 
from the northward ; made to the westward. 20th, brought up 
under West Hunter Island ; landed the Sydney natives, nine of 

Batman's Jqurnal and Report. 199 

them altogether, at 3 P.M. ; at 7 P.M., brought them; wind 
chopped round to the S.W. ; run out between the Islands. 21sty 
off Flat-top Point. 22nd, run into or entered Port Phillip ; run 
as far aa Prudential Head ; it fell calm ; brought up ; saw a 
native dog on shore ; out boat and landed ; the dog made for 
the boat, but as soon as he saw our dogs he set off, ours after 
him, five in number. Dick White's greyhound hauling him ; 
first he tore the roof of his head right off, and took the water ; 
we shot them both, as the hound could not live ; weighed 
anchor at 5 P.M. ; started up Geelong ; at 9 P.M., saw native 
fires ; got as close to them as we could. 23rd, landed at 2 A.M. ; 
up to our ankles in mud ; got up the fires two hours before day- 
light, but the natives were gone ; sent the black bloodhounds 
after them; found them about three miles off; brought them 
back ; there were forty-two women and children, but not a man 
among them. Batman made them handsome presents, and they 
informed him that the men had gone to war a long long way, 
pointing in the direction. Batman then started to cross the 
BarabooU HiUs, but was driven back by a most severe hail-storm ; 
made a second attempt and saw the Barwon, but getting late, 
he returned on board, intending to go the following day, but, 
when on board, he altered his mind, and he said he thought it 
would be better to try and see the natives altogether, and as 
they were at war they would decide the grand point. Then 
says he, we will lose no time. Got under way, and started for 
the Yarrow, on the 24th. Brought up as near the bar as possible 
— the forty-two natives had brackish water carrying in their 
buckets. On the 25th, landed on the upper side of Salt Water 
Creek, Mr. J. Batman, Gumm (not Gun, as Fawkner calls him), 
Ned Thompson, two men belonging to the vessel, and nine 
Sydney natives, fifteen in all, armed to the teeth, and loaded 
with as much as they could carry. Off they went, us watching 
them as far as we could see them. On the 28ih, we heard 
signal guns at 9 P.M., answered and sent boats on shore ; party 
returned, but could not find the natives. On the 29th, got 
under way, and stood into the Bay to see if we could see any 
native fires : we did, and took the bearings ; then ran back, and 
brought up as before. On the 30th, we started at daylight from 
the upper side of Salt Water Creek, with a fresh stock and all 
in good cheer. On the second day, we saw an old man and 
woman, three natives ; down swag and gave chase, caught them 
and brought them back to Batman, who made them handsome 
presents ; in two hours and a half, we saw the natives, 400 or 
500 strong. As the latter saw our party, they one and all began 
to set up such an infernal yell, and rushed towards the party ; 
however, the old man and old woman set up a different yell, 
which pacified them, and they all run back, stuck their spears 

200 Port Phillip Settlement. 

in heaps, and then made friends 'vvith the party ; the party 
stopped two nights with them ; each different party keeping strict 
watch all night. July 4th, party returned on board, after 
making friends with the natives, and parting with nearly aU 
they had, left them good friends. July 5th, Batman and party 
went up the Yarra, and myself. We filled three casks of water, 
and on going down cut a boat-hook staff. Here one of the 
natives cut a good sized tree nearly down, and said, jokingly, 
' Dat was Bobson's tree,' which made Batman smile. Returned 
on board, and started for Indented Head, or Queenscliffe, which 
is now. Commenced landing the stores. Got up to the tent, 
landed several tons of potatoes, and flour, pork, beef, &c., &c., 
and plenty of ammunition, with a written instruction what to do. 
Batman wrote this instruction while we were landing — to build 
a sod hut, thirty feet long, ten broad, and to roof it with sods, 
leaving loop-holes in different places — they then would be safe. 
In the mean time, to allow the natives each lib. of meat per day, 
but not to allow them to make any huts nearer than 300 yards 
away of them, and to keep them at a respectable distance. 
July 6th, All being landed, we left the party a new whale-boat, 
complete. We got under way, past Point Nepean at 4 P.M., 
bound for Launceston, after leaving at Indented Head, Ted 
Oumm, Thompson, and seven natives. July 8th, Entered Tamar 
Heads, and arrived at the wharf on the 9th, at 9 a.m. 

"Robert Robson, 

*'0k boabd of the 'Rebecca.' Master,** 

It was soon after his return to his home under Ben Lomond, 
of Tasmania, that Batman forwarded a report of his Port Phillip 
trip to Governor Arthur. The composition by no means bears 
the impress of the unscholarly Bushman, but gives evidence of 
the joint labours of Mr. Oellibrand^ the lawyer, and Mr. Wedge,' 
the surveyor. The inconsistency of dates between the Report 
and the Journal will strike the reader. The document was as 
follows : — 

" HoBART Town, June 252A, 1835. 

" SlR,^I have the honour of reporting to your Excellency, for 
the information of His Majesty's Government, the result of an 
Expedition undertaken by myself at the expense of and in con- 
junction with several gentlemen, inhabitants of Van Diemen's 
Land, to Port Philip, on the south-western point of New Holland, 
for the purpose of forming an extensive pastoral establishment, 
and combining therewith the civilization of the native tribes 
who are living in that part of the country. 

'«— — » - -- — 

BATMAN'fci Journal and Report, 


" Before I enter into the details, I deem it necessary to state, 
for the information of His Majesty's Qovemment, that I am a 
native of New South Wales, and that, for the last six years, I 
have been most actively employed in endeavouring to civilize 
the aboriginal natives of Van Diemen's Land ; and, in order to 
enable the local Government of this colony to carry that im- 
portant object into full effect, I procured from New South 
Wales eleven original natives of New Holland, who were, under 
my guidance, mainly instrumental in carrying into effect the 
humane object of this Government towards the aborigines of 
this island. 

'' I also deem it necessa^ to state, that I have been for many 
years impressed with the opinion, that a most advantageous 
settlement might be formed at Western Port, or Port Philip ; 
and that, in 1827, Mr. J. T. Gellibrand and m3rself addressed a 
joint letter to the Colonial Government of New South Wales, 
soliciting permission to occupy land at Port Philip, with an 
undertaking to export to that place stock to the value of 5,000/, 
and which was to be placed for a certain number of years under 
my personal direction and superintendence. 

" This application was not granted by the Sydney Government, 
because the land was beyond the limits of that territory, and the 
occupation of Western Port had been altogether abandoned. 

" It occurred to myself, and some of the gentlemen who are 
associated vdth me, that, inasmuch as the Sydney natives who 
were living with me had become well acquainted with the 
English language and manners, and had acquired habits of 
industry in agricultural pursuits, they might, therefore, be 
considered partially civilized, and as the available lands in this 
colony were occupied by flocks of sheep and fully stocked, it 
would be a favourable opportunity of opening a direct friendly 
intercourse with the tribes in the neighbourhood of Port Philip, 
and by obtaining from them a grant of a portion of that 
territory upon equitable principles, not only might the resources 
of this colony be considerably extended, but the object of 
civilization be established, and which, in process of time, would 
' lead to the civilization of a large portion of the aborigines of 
that extensive country. 

" In pursuance of arrangements based upon these principles 
I proceeded on the 12th day of May, 1835, in a vessel from 

202 Port Phillip Settlement. 

Launceston, accompanied by seven Sydney natives, and pro- 
ceeded to Port Philip, on the south-western extremity of New 
Holland, where I landed on the 26th day of May. 

" On the evening of our arrival at Port Philip, we saw the 
native fires at a distance of about five miles. I then made my 
arrangements for the purpose of opening an intercourse with 
the natives by means of those under my charge. I equipped 
them in theur native dresses, and early in the morning we 
landed. I desired the natives to proceed unarmed, and they 
preceded me a few hundred yards. When we had advanced 
within half-a-mile, we saw the native huts and smoke. My 
natives then proceeded quietly up to the huts, expecting that 
we should find the tribe asleep ; but when they had got to the 
huts, it appeared that the natives had fled a few hours 
previously, leaving behind them some of their buckets and 
other articles. 

" I concluded from this that the natives had discovered the 
vessel, and had quitted their huts through fear, and as I 
thought it probable they might in consequence quit the coast 
for a season, I determined immediately to put my natives upon 
the track, and if possible overtake them, and at once obtain 
their confidence. 

" My natives followed the track, which appeared to have been 
very circuitous, and after we had proceeded about ten miles, we 
at length saw a tribe, consisting of twenty women and twenty- 
four children. 

"My natives then made to them some of their friendly 
signals, which it appeared were understood, and in the course of 
a few minutes my natives joined the tribe, and after remaining 
with them as I judged sufficient length of time to conciliate 
them and explain my friendly disposition, I advanced alone and 
■joined them, and was introduced to them by my natives, two of 
whom spoke nearly the same language, and so as to be perfectly 
intelligible to them. 

" The two interpreters explained to them, by my directions, 
that I had come in a vessel from the other shores to settle 
amongst them, and to be upon friendly terms; that I was, 
although a white, a countryman of theirs, and would protect 
them ; and I wished them to return with me to their huts 
where I had left some presents for them. 

Batman's Journal and Report. 203 


*' After some conversation, the whole party, women and chil- 
dren, returned with me and my natives towards the huts until 
they came within sight of the shore ; they then stopt and 
hesitated in proceeding, and, as I understood from the inter- 
preters, were afraid I should take them by force and ill-use 
them, as some of their tribe had been already. 

" After the strongest assurances on my part of my sincerity 
and friendly disposition, and that no harm should be done to them, 
they then proceeded to the huts, where I gave them a pair of 
blankets each, tomahawks, knives, scissors, looking-glasses, and I 
affixed round the neck of each woman and child a necklace. 

"As soon as I had distributed the presents, they were 
informed by the interpreters that they might depart and join 
their friends, and I left them and proceeded on board the vessel. 
They appeared, by my conduct towards them, highly gratified 
and excited, and showed by their manners that the fullest 
confidence existed. 

'* On the next and five following days I employed myself in 
surveying the country, and although I saw several native fiires, 
I abstained from intruding upon them, leaving the interview I 
had had with the women to have its full effect upon the tribes 
before I visited them again. 

" On the seventh day I proceeded towards the place where I 
had seen the fires, and where I had reason to believe the tribes 
were, and I sent my natives forward with the same instructions 
as upon the first occasion. We remained up the country all 
night, and proceeded early the next morning under the expecta- 
tion of reaching the tribes. After we had proceeded about seven 
miles, we fell in with a native man, his wife, and three 
children, who received my natives with apparent cordiality, and 
informed them that the women to whom I had given the 
presents, although belonging to another tribe, had communicated 
to them the reception they had n^et with from me. 

" I learned from this native where the chiefs of the tribes 
were stationed, and also their names, and this man most readily 
offered at once to act as our guide, and take us at once to the 
spot. We then proceeded with the man, his wife and children, 
towards the huts of the chiefs ; but it appeared that the guide 
took us past the spot where the chiefs were, and some of the 
children having observed a white man, gave the alarm, and 

204 Port Phillip Settlement. 

almost immediately we found the tribe in our rear advancing 
towards us with spears and in a menacing position. My natives, 
with the man, woman, and children, then called out to the tribe, 
and they immediately dropt their spears and other implements 
in the grass, and the two sable parties advanced towards each 
other, and I shortly followed them. 

" Some conversation then took place between my natives and 
the tribe. The object of my visit and intentions were then 
explained to them, and the chiefs then pressed me to proceed 
with them to see their wives and children, which is one of the 
strongest demonstrations of peace and confidence. Upon my 
assenting to this request, the chiefs then inquired of my inter- 
preters whether I would allow them to take up their implements 
of war, which I immediately assented to, and the principal chief 
then gave me his best spear to carry, and I in return gave him 
my gun. 

" We then proceeded towards the huts, and when a short 
distance from thence the chief called out to the women not to 
be alarmed, and I was then introduced to the whole tribe, con- 
sisting of upwards of twenty men, containing altogether fifty- 
five men, women and children. 

" I joined this tribe about twelve o'clock, and staid with them 
until about twelve o'clock the next day, during which time I 
fully explained to them that the object of my visit was to pur- 
chase from them a tract of their country ; that I intended to 
settle amongst them with my wife and seven daughters ; and 
that I intended to bring to the country sheep and cattle. T also 
explained my wish to protect them in every way, to employ them 
the same as my own natives, and also to clothe and feed them ; 
and I also proposed to pay them an annual tribute in necessaries 
as a compensation for the enjoyment of the land. 

** The chiefe appeared most fully to comprehend my proposals, 
and much delighted with the prospect of having me to live 
amongst them. I then explained to them the boundaries of the 
land which I wished to purchase, and which are defined by hiUs, to 
which they have affixed native names ; and the limits of the 
land purchased by me are defined in the chart which I have the 
honour of transmitting, taken from personal survey. 

** On the next day the chiefs proceeded with me to the 
boundaries, and they marked with their own native marks the 

Batman's Journal and Report. 205 

trees which were at the coraera of the boundaries, and they also 
gave me ^their own private mark, which is kept sacred by them, 
even so much so that the women are not allowed to see it. 

'' After the boundaries had been thus marked and described, 
I filled up as accurately as I could define it, the land agreed to 
be purchased by me from the chiefs ; and the deed when thus 
filled up was most carefully read over and explained to them by 
the two interpreters, so that they most fully comprehended its 
purport and effect. I then filled up two other parts of the deed 
so as to make it in triplicate, and the three principal chiefs and 
five of the subordinate chiefs then executed each of the deeds, 
each part being separately read over, and they each delivered to 
me a piece of the soil for the purpose of putting me in pos- 
session thereof, and understanding that it was a form by which 
they delivered to me the tract of land. 

" I have the honour of inclosing herewith a copy of each of 
the deeds executed by the natives to me, which I confidently 
trust will most clearly manifest that I have proceeded upon an 
equitable principle ; that my object has not been possession and 
expulsion, or, what is worse, extermination, but possession and 
civilization ; — ^and the reservation of the annual tribute to those 
who are the real owners of the soil will afford evidence of the 
sincerity of my professions in wishing to protect and civilize 
these tribes of benighted but intelligent people : And I con- 
fidently trust that the British (Government will duly appreciate 
the treaty which I have made with these tribes, and will not in 
any manner molest the arrangements which I have made, but 
that I shall receive the support and encouragement of not only 
the local Government, but that of the British Government, in 
carrying the objects into effect. 

" I quitted Port Philip on the 14th day of June, having 
parted with the tribes in the most friendly and conciliatory 
manner, leaving five of my natives and three white men to 
commence a garden neax the harbour, and to erect a house for 
my temporary occupation on my return with my wife and 

" I arrived at Launceston after a passage of thirty-six hours, 
which will at once show the geographical advantages of this 
territory to Van Diemen's Land, and in a few years I have no 
hesitation in affirming, fi-om the nature of the soil, that the 

206' Port Phillip Settlement. 

exports of wool and meat to Van Diemen's Land will form a 
considerable feature in its commercial relations. 

"I traversed the country in opposite directions about fifty 
miles, and having had much experience in lands and grazing in 
New South Wales, and in this colony, I have no hesitation in 
asserting that the general character of the country is decidedly 
superior to any which I have ever seen. It is interspersed with 
fine rivers and creeks, and the downs were extended on every 
side as far as the eye could reach, thickly covered with grass of 
the finest description, and containing an almost indescribable 
extent of fine land fit for any purposes. 

" I have now finally to report, that the following are the gentle- 
men who are associated with me in the colonization at Port 
Philip, many of whom will reside with their establishments at 
Port Philip, and all of whom are prepared and intend immedi- 
ately to export stock, which will be under my general guidance 
and immediate superintendence : C. Swanston, Thos. Bannister, 
James Simpson, J. T. Gellibrand, J. and W. Robertson, Henry 
Arthur, H. Wedge, J. Sinclair, J. T. Collicott, A. Cotterell, 
W.'Q. Sams, M. Connolly, George Mercer. 

. " The quantity of stock exported this year will be at the least 
20,000 breeding ewes ; and one of the leading stipulations will 
be, that none but married men of good character with their 
families will be sent, either as overseers or servants, so that by 
no possibility any personal injury shall be offered to the natives 
or their feimilies; and it is also intended, for the purpose of 
preserving due order and morals, that a minister or catechist 
shall be attached to the establishment at the expense of the 

"The chiefs, to manifest their friendly feeling towards me. 
insisted upon my receiving from them two native cloaks and- 
several baskets made by the women, and also some of their 
implements of defence, which I beg to transmit The women 
generally are clothed with cloaks of a description somewhat 
similar, and they certainly appear to me to be of a superior race 
to any natives which I have ever seen. 

" I have the honour to be, 

" Your Excellency's obedient humble Servant, 
(Signed) "John Batman.** 

Batman's Journal and Report. 207 

In this report Batman describes his origin and the work 
of pacification, or native-catching, in which he had been 
engaged in Van Diemen's Land, with the assistance of some 
semi-civilised blacks from New South Wales. He then refers 
to an application Mr. Gellibrand and he had made eight years 
before for the occupation of land at Western Port. A desire to 
carry out the original idea, and at another spot, led those two to 
form an association, and take advantage of Batman's party of 
Australians to purchase land from the aborigines of Fort 

The report supplies certain particulars of the visit which are 
not mentioned in the journal. It is amusing to read that the 
explorer equipped his Sydney men in their native dresses, which 
would mean their native undress. The first attempt to find a 
tribe was a failure, as the wild fellows retreated unobserved, 
though not unobserving. It was some slight exaggeration to 
say that two of the Sydney men "spoke nearly the same language, 
and so as to be perfectly intelligible," to the women on 
Indented Head, unless these had known Port Phillip women who 
had been stolen, as was the custom, by sealel's from that coast, 
and carried off to isles in Bass's Straits as their slaves. Under 
such circumstances the two Sydney blacks may have picked up in 
the Straits enough of the other tongue to serve for interpreta- 
tion. They could hardly otherwise have attempted to persuade 
their leader that those women were afraid he "would take 
them by force and illuse them, as some of their tribe had been 
already." Mr. Eobinson, the pacificator of the Tasmanians, 
met a number of Port Phillip women in bondage to the cruel 
sealers in the Straits. When he subsequently came over as 
Protector of Aborigines in Port Phillip, he brought some of 
these very captives back to their own land. 

It is well here to remark that the ridicule cast upon Batman's 
narrative about the treaty, on the ground of the impossibility of 
any intercourse of speech between the Sydney and Port Phillip 
people, is not altogether well judged. Although the two 
vocabularies had great differences, the construction of language 
was similar. But there had been, as we now find, a neutral 
ground in the Bass's Straits islands, where there was not only 
a picking up of new words, but a sort of lingua franca was 
absolutely established, and predominated for years in the Pro- 

208 Port Phillip Settlement. 

tectorate of Flinders Island. Though the Merri Creek Jagga 
Jaggas of Port Phillip were further off the sealers than those on 
Indented Head, yet it is known that our roving countrymen of 
the Straits did carry their incursions right into the Bay ; and 
probably some women had been stolen by them from the neigh- 
bourhood of the Yarra Yarra. Though the English of the 
Sydney natives was but Pigeon Englisk, we may give them 
credit for better knowledge of a kindred tongue. They had 
no difl&culty in making themselves known among the very 
diversely-speaking Tasmanian tribes, and were themselves of 
distinctly different tongues in parts of New South Wales. 
Without doubt, a number of words were in commoli use on 
the continent of New Holland, and there appears to have been 
more intercourse among the tribes of old than when the whites 
settled there. Besides, the marvellous power of signs — signs 
admitted to be accepted over a very great area, would be very 
effective with so shrewd a set of fellows as those who had been 
with Batman several years. 

That tribes from a distance could communicate with each 
other, and were able to give prompt intelligence, is well illus- 
trated by the fact mentioned in the report, that the women first 
met by Batman had informed the people so far off as the head 
of Port Phillip Bay of what the white men had done. It was 
not a little owing to their good account of the strangers that 
the Jagga Jagga so-called chiefs were friendly. 

In his official story, as in his journal, Batman repeats the 
phrase chiefs, though such authorities, in the orthodox sense, 
have no existence with Australian blacks. The interchange of 
weapons between the explorer and one of these stalwart natives 
was not only a mark of mutual confidence, but the recognition 
of an almost universal custom. Tribes were not populous in 
those days, since that one with which the treaty was made con- 
sisted of but fifty-five men, women, and children, though the 
journal says forty-five. But, without doubt, this was but a sub- 
division of a larger group around the site of Melbourne. 

To these blacks did Batman explain his project of being their 
friend, and of settling among them with wife and seven 
daughters. It might have been easier to comprehend a treaty 
than for them to realise a family of seven daughters by one 
wife. His proposition to clothe and feed them must have 

iTHi. NE.'/ •. •■ . j 

PUBLIC LlIuw-.v! 


W ' L." ■ f i i M — ■■ ■■ 







Bathan's Journal and Report. 209 

struck the hunters, root-diggers, aod skin-wearers as quite a 
needless one. The woolly-kangaroo keeping was, perhaps, as 
intelligible after the explanation as the payment of tribute, in 
spite of the repoft that "the chiefs appeared most fully to 
comprehend my proposals." 

But there is considerable obscurity about the marking of the 
boundaries. No mention of this is recorded in the journal, 
except the cutting of the bark to indicate a private or sacred 
sign ; but, as that was not to be seen by a woman, we may sup- 
pose the mark was removed. On the contrary, the elaborate 
report to Colonel Arthur, the Governor, distinctly affirms that 
the chiefs proceeded with Batman to the boundaries, and that 
they " marked with their own native marks the trees which 
were at the comers of the boundaries." As this was done in 
part of one day, it is certain that the area first assumed was a 
very small one, and pretty considerably less than that appro- 
priated, viz., 600,000 acres. It was " after the boundaries had 
been thus marked and described," that the formal business of 
reciting and explaining the treaty took place, together with the 
signature to three distinct legal instruments. We are thus led 
to conclude that a very loose sort of bargain was made with the 
blacks, the boundaries being pointed out by the aid of 
prominent hills, or that the country actually traversed by 
Batman's chiefs and purchased from them, comprehended at 
most a few thousand acres between Williamstown and Mel- 
bourne. The tribesmen could never have proceeded with our 
countrymen within the space of le^ than one day to the 
boundaries of a six hundred thousand acre region. 

That something was done in the way of acknowledging an 
area of land in some sort of exchange for certain goods and 
trinkets may be accepted. The so-called Treaty was no more a 
n^yth than the visit to Port Phillip itself, however it was under- 
stood or misunderstood. Not only did Batman always adhere 
to his declaration of purchase, but he induced others to believe 
the story. The present writer was assured by Mr. Wedge, and 
by one of the three white men with Batman, that a formal 
arrangement was made. But that the Report account must be 
accepted literally is another thing. It is true, in a sense, but is 
by no means accurately written. The boundary-marking was 
the weak point in the harness, and its story was hardly likely to 
win the confidence of the British Qovernment in the treaty, or 


210 Port Phillip Settlement. 

dispose those very suspicious authorities in Sydney to refrain, as 
was wished, from molesting the arrangements Batman had 

Had the explorer confined his observations to his having 
" traversed the counti-y in opposite directions about fifty miles," 
and contented himself with the general statement of an amicable 
agreement, without the nice description of beating the bounds, 
the Report would have shown more evidence, and the objects of 
the Association would have stood a fairer chance of attainment. 

The Report further points out the moral side of the Colonial 
movement. Batman is represented as saying : " I have pro- 
ceeded upon an equitable principle ; that my object has not 
been possession and expulsion, or, what is worse, extermination, 
but possession and civilization ; and the reservation of the 
annual tribute to those who are the real owners of the soil will 
afford evidence of the sincerity of my professions in wishing to 
protect and civilize these tribes of benighted but intelligent 
people." This was recorded with a view to gain the sympathy 
of the British Ministry, and, thereby, their sanction of the 
.Association. • 

About the sincerity of this declaration there can be little 
question. The Black War of Van Diemen's Land had brought 
forward most painfully the whole subject of aboriginal claims. 
A similar discussion in England preceded the establishment of 
the Private Colony of South Australia. Right-thinking men 
were shocked at the ordinary effects of British colonization 
upon the unhappy dark races. The benevolent leaders of the 
Port Phillip Association were honestly intending to act fairly 
and kindly to the sons and daughters of the forest ; and they 
had some right to expect an appreciation of their motives from 
a civilized and Christian Government. 

The official reply to Mr. Batman's Report to Governor Arthur 
came from his secretary, John Montagu, Esq., and is dated from 
Hobart Town, July 3rd. 1835 :— 

" I am directed to inform you that the Lieutenant-Governor, 
having perused with much interest the account contained in 
your Report of the 25th ultimo, of your expedition to Port 
Phillip, is highly gratified with the very favourable opinion 
you have been enabled to form of the fertility of the adjacent 
territory, thus confirming the various statements which have 
been made respecting it, since the first occupation of that 

Batman's Journal and Report. 211 

country, in 1803, by Qovemor Collins, and more especially by 
Messrs. Hovell and Hume and Captain Wright, whose reports 
have long since been in the possession of His Majesty's 

" Though divided only by a few hours' sail from the most 
fertile portion of Van Diemen's Land, Port Phillip is not within 
the jurisdiction of this Government. His Excellency, therefore, 
would only observe that the recognition of the rights supposed 
to have been acquired by the Treaty into which you have 
entered with the natives would appear to be a departure from 
the principle upon which a Parliamentary sanction without 
reference to the aborigines has been given to the settlement of 
Southern Australia, as part of the possessions of the Crown. 

"The Lieutenant-Governor will have great pleasure, however, 
in forwarding your Report to His Majesty's Government, and in 
representing the enterprise manifested by yourself, the respecta- 
bility of the parties interested in the undertaking, and the 
humane consideration which His Excellency is informed it is 
their intention to extend towards the aboriginals of Iramoo 
(copied Irannroo), and which justice and humanity alike require 
as a preliminary in the occupation of every new country ; but, 
at the same time, the Lieutenant-Governor would remark, for 
the reasons he has assigned, that he considers that it would not 
be prudent in the gentlemen associated with you to incur 
expense in any reliance on a confirmation from the Crown of 
your title to the land under the agreement into which you have 
entered ; an opinion which His Excellency cannot avoid express- 
ing, although he is very sensible that the colonization of the 
country you have examined would, on account of its proximity, 
be highly conducive to the prosperity of Van Diemen's Land. 

" I am also to observe that, in reference to the application of 
Mr. Henty to be allowed, under certain conditions, to locate a 
gi-ant of land on the southern coast of New Holland, His 
Majesty's Government declined to accede to his proposal, con- 
ceiving that to have done so would have been to deviate from 
the principles involved in the Act of the Settlement of Southern 

In this letter we have the prudent language of a statesman, 
careful to guard his position, while saying something agreeable. 
He gave judicious advice to the adventurers, and abstained from 
any word of official encouragement. 

The Treaty, executed in triplicate, is on two separate parch- 
ments. One is styled " Grant of the Territory called 
DuTlGALLA, with livery of Seisin endorsed, dated 6th June, 
1835." The other is " Grant of the Territory called Geelong, 
with livery of Seisin endorsed, dated 6th June, 1835." 

p 2 

212 Port Phillip Settlement. 

The first describes the tract of country ceded forty miles in 
length, or 500,000 acres, and the consideration in blankets, 
food, &c., together with the annual tribute in goods. The other,, 
a conveyance from the same parties, by the way, relates to the 
Geelong country, or Indented Head, containing about 100,000 
acres ; for this the consideration and tribute are less than for 

The Deed for Dutigalla is as follows : — 

** llnota all ||U»0na that We, Three Brothers, Jagajaga, 
Jagajaga, Jagajaga, being the Principal Chiefs, and also Cooloo- 
lock, fiungarie, Yanyan, Moowhip, and Mommarmalar also, 
being the Chiefs of a certain Native Tribe, called Dutigallar, 
situate at and near Port Phillip, called by us, the above 
mentioned Chiefs Irumao, being possessed of the Tract of Land 
hereinafter mentioned, for and in consideration of Twenty pairs of 
Blankets, Thirty Tomahawks, One Hundred Knives, Fifty pair 
Scissors, Thirty Looking Glasses, Two Hundred Handkerchiefs, 
and One Hundred Pounds Flour, and Six Shirts, delivered to 
us by John Batman, residing in Van Diemen's Land, Esquire, 
but at present sojourning with us and our Tribe, Do for our- 
selves. Our Heirs and Successors, ^ibj^. Grant, Enfeoff, and Con- 
firm unto the said John Batman^ his Heirs and Assigns, ^U 

t^at Tract of Country situate and being at Port Phillip, running 
from the branch of the River at the top of the Port, about 7 
miles from the mouth of the River, Forty miles North East, and 
from thence West Forty miles across Iramoo Downs or Plains, 
and from thence South South West, across Mount Vilanmamar- 
tar to Geelong Harbour, at the head of the same, and containing 
about Five Hundred Thousand more or less Acres, as the same 
hath been, before the execution of these presents, delineated and 
marked out by us, according to the custom of our Tribe, by 
certain marks made upon the Trees growing along the boundaries 

of the said tract of land, ^0 ^0^ the said tract of Land with 
all advantages belonging thereto, unto, and To the Use of 
the said John Batman, his Heirs and Assigns for ever, to the 
intent that the said John Batman, his Heirs and Assigns, may 
occupy and possess the said tract of Land, and place thereon 

Sheep and Cattle, ^wlttiltg and delivering to us, and our 
Heirs and Successors the yearly Rent or Tribute of One 
Hundred pairs of Blankets, One Hundred Knives, One Hundred 
Tomahawks, Fifty Suits of Clothing, Looking Glasses, 

Fifty pairs Scissors, and Five Tons Flour. Jit WilivitM 
whereof We, Jagajaga, Jagajaga, Jagajaga. the before mentioned 
principal Chiefs, and Cooloolock, Bungarie, Yanyan, Moowhip, 
Mommarmalar, being the Chiefs of the said Tribe, have here- 

Batman's Journal and Report. 213 

unto affixed our Seals to thoee presents, and have signed the 
same. Bated according to the Christian Era, this Sixth day 
of June, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirty five. 

" Jagajaga his ///• Mark L. S. 

** Jagajaga his Jlf Mark L. S. 

" Jagajaga his f/f* Mark L. S. 

" CoOLOOLOCK his Iff' Mark L. S. 

" BuNGARiE his f;f* Mark L. S. 

" Yantan his }Ff Mark L. S. 

'* MoowHiP his }lf' Mark L. S. 

" MoMMARMALAR his fff' Mark L. S. 

" John Batman, 

" Signed, Sealed and Delivered in the presence of us, the same 
having been fully and properly interpreted and explained to the 
said Chiefs. " James Gumm. 

"Alexander Thompson. 
"WiLLM. Todd. 

" Be it Remembered, that on the day and year within written, 
possession and delivery of the tract of Land within mentioned 
was made by the within named Jagajaga, Jagajaga, Jagajaga, 
principal Chiefs, and Cooloolock, Bungarie, Yanyan, Moowhip, 
and Mommarmalar, also Chiefs of the Tribe of Natives called 
Dutigallar, to the within named John Batman, by the said 
Chiefe, taking up part of the Soil of the said Tract of Land, and 
delivering the same to the said John Batman, in the name of 
the whole. 

"Jagajaga, his fff' Mark. 

"Jagajaga, his fff* Mark. 

"Jagajaga, his }ff' Mark. 

"Cooloolock, his }}}' Mark. 

"Bungarie, his fff' Mark. 

"Yanyan, his Jfl' Mark. 

"Moowhip,. his fff' Mark. 

"Mommarmalar, his fff* Mark. 
" In presence of 

" James Gumm . 

" Alexander Thompson. 

" Will"^ Todd." 

The other for Geelong runs thus : — 

"PnDhr all "^nnaxtB that We, three Brothers, Jagajaga, 
Jagajaga, Jagajaga, being the Principal Chiefs, and also Cooloo- 
lock, Bungarie, Yanyan, Moowhip, Mommarmalar, being the 

214 Port Phillip Settlement. 

Chiefs of a certain Native Tribe called IBtttigallar, situate at 
and near Port Phillip, called by us, the above mentioned Chiefs, 
Iramoo, and Geelong ; being possessed of the Tract of Land 
hereinafter mentioned, for, and in consideration of Twenty Pair 
of Blankets, thirty Knives, twelve Tomahawks, ten Looking 
Glasses, twelve Pair Scissors, fifty Handkerchiefs, twelve Red 
Shirts, four Flannel Jackets, four Suits Clothes, and fifty 
pounds Flour, delivered to us by John Batman^ residing in Van 
Diemen's Land, Esquire, but at present sojourning with us 

and our Tribe, Do for ourselves, our Heirs and Successors, ^ib(> 
Grant, Enfeoff, and Confirm unto the said John Batman^ his 
Heirs and Assigns, ^U i^a^xA Tract of Country, situate and being 

in the Bay of Port Phillip, known by the name of Indented 
Head, but called by us Geelong, extending across from Geelong 
Harbour about due South, for ten miles, more or less, to the 
head of Port Phillip, taking in the whole Neck or Tract of Land, 
and containing about One Hundred Thousand Acres, as the same 
hath been before the execution of these presents delineated and 
marked out by us according to the custom of our Tribe, by 
certain marks made upon the Trees growing along the bound- 
aries of the said tract of Land, C0 ^olb the said tract of Land 
with all the advantages belonging thereto, unto, and To the Use 
of the said John Batman, his Heirs and Assigns for ever, to the 
intent that the said John Batman, his Heirs and Assigns may 
occupy and possess the said tract of Land, and place thereon 

Sheep and Cattle, ©wlbing and delivering to us, and our Heirs 

or Successors, the Yearly Rent or Tribute of Fifty pair of 
Blankets, Fifty Knives, Fifty Tomahawks, Fifty pair Scissors, 
Fifty Looking Glasses, Twenty Suits of Slops or Clothing, and 

Two tons Flour. Jn MltrttSS whereof. We, Jagajaga, 
Jagajaofa, Jagajaga, the three Principal Chiefs, and also Cooloo- 
lock, Bungarie, Yanyan, Moowhip, Mommarmalar, the Chiefs 
of the said Tribe, have hereunto affixed our Seals to these 
presents, and have signed the same. Bated according to the 
Christian Aera, this Sixth day of June, One Thousand Eight 
Hundred and Thirty five. 

" Jagajaga his \\\' Mark (L. S.) 

"Jagajaga his f/p Mark (L. S.) 

" Jagajaga his fff- Mark (L. S.) 

CooLOOLOCK his Iff- Mark (L. S.) 

Bungarie his pf* Mark (L. S.) 

" Yanyan his fff Mark (L. S.) 

" Moowhip his \^* Mark (L. S.) 

" Mommarmalar his f/f* Mark (L. S.) 

*'JoHN Batman. 

Batman's Journal and Report. 215 

" Signed, Sealed and Delivered in the presence of us, the 
same having been fully and properly interpreted and explained 
to the said Chiefs. 

" In presence of 

"James Gumm. 

" Alexander Thompson. 

" WiLLM. Todd. 

" Be it Remembered, that on the day and year within written, 
possession and delivery of the Tract of Land within mentioned 
was made by the within named Jagajaga, Jagajaga, Jagajaga, 
Cooloolock, Bungarie, Yanyan, Moowhip, Mommarmalar, Chiefs 
of the Tribe of Natives called Dutigallar Qeelong, to the within 
named John Batman, by the said Chiefs, taking up part of the 
soil of the said Tract of Land, and delivering the same to the 
said John Batman in the name of the whole." 

Of this Deed the Hobart Town Tasmanian wrote : — " It was, 
we understand, a transcript of the form adopted by the great 
Penn in his treaty with the aboriginal possessors of the now 
noble nation of Pennsylvania." The editor thus remarks of it : 
— " It is as lawful, and as regular, and as well established by 
right, from the rightful possessors, as the best conveyance with 
which the best lawyers in Lincoln's Inn could confuse and con- 
found the understanding of the reader, by the utmost possible 
multiplication of words and skins of parchment.'' 

Mr. Penn*s letter to the Indians, sent from England, 18th 
August, 1681, has these words: — "The King of the country 
where I live hath given me a great province therein (America), 
but I desire to enjoy it with your love and consent, that we may 
always live together as neighbours and friends. ... I shall 
shortly come to you myself; in the meantime I have sent my 
commissioners to treat with you about land and a firm league of 
peace ; let me desire you to be kind to them and the people, 
and receive these presents and tokens which I have sent you as 
a testimony of my good will to you." 

Quite a number of instances could be given as precedents for 
the action of Batman, especially during the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries, with American Indians. Colonists and 
others did not scruple to purchase tracts of land in New 
Zealand from the natives. The only difficulty in the latter case 
was that the Maories neglected to keep a legal register of such 

216 Port Phillip Settlemesnt. 

formalities^ and bo, quite inadvertently^ sold the same plot 
several times over to as many parties. Again, as successive 
tribes were displaced by conquering neighbours, the dispossessed 
regarded themselves as rightful owners, and vere always ready 
to convey, for a consideration. 

The comparison of John Batman with Wilham Penn was 
made by the Launceston paper, the Cornwall Chronide, the day 
after the return ; saying, in the issue of June 13th : — 

" The Tasmanian Penn, Mr. Batman, arrived yesterday from 
Port Phillip, and reached his own home from thence within little 
more than forty-eight hours." 

The account then given of the Treaty is as follows : — 

" A fine athletic fellow — the chief of the tribe — ^after being 
made acquainted with Mr. Batman's wish to purchase land, and 
his means to pay for it, proceeded with him and his party, 
accompanied by his tribe, to measure it off. At each comer 
boundary the chief marked a tree, and tabooed it, and at the 
same time explained to the tribe the nature of the treaty, and 
the positive necessity on their part to observe it inviolable. 
Mr. Batman was provided with the deeds in triplicate, the 
nature of which he explained to the chief as the fashion upon 
such an occasion in white man's country, who readily signed 
them, and received one to preserve. The payment of the land 
in part consisted of 100 blankets, tomahawks, knives, flour, &c. ; 
and it was mutually agreed that a certain quantity of clothing 
and arms were to be paid each year, the amount of them about 
£200 sterling." 

After this grave and circumstantial recital 6f proceedings in 
this paper of June 13th, one is hardly prepared to meet, in the 
same day's issue, the following letter to the Editor, and signed 
" Wrangleawee " : — 

'* I am happy to inform you that the schooner has arrived safe 
from Port Phillip, on the opposite side of the Straits. Mr. 
Batman has left Mr. Pigeon, commander of the Sydney Blacks 
(who acted under Black Robinson in catching the blacks here), 
in possession of the territory, amounting to two millions of 
acres, which he purchased from one of the natives. The site of 
a township has been marked off, to be called * Batmania,' at 
the head of Port Phillip, well supplied with a running stream of 
fresh water." 

In Lloyd's amusing Thirty-three Years in Tasmania and 
Victoria, is the supposed story of Wooloomooloo and the 

Batman's Joubnal and Report. 217 

other Sydney Blacks coming upon a band of fifty Port Phillip 
warriors. We read that — 

" Notwithstanding his spirited gesture and vehement jabber- 
ing, which he concluded by thrusting a stick into the ground 
and formally tabooing it, the aboriginal warriors still maintained 
their warlike attitude. Unfortunately, the language of the sable 
mediator differed so materially from that of the Port Phillipians 
that but little progress could be effected by such incomprehen- 
sible parlance. At this ominous stage of the proceedings, how- 
ever, the old native who had accompanied the party, stepped 
forward, and in a few magical sentences happily produced a 
more amicable feeling. Wooloomooloo earnestly endeavoured 
to explain the desire of his mater fader — ^as he called the white 
chief — to purchase large tracts of land. To render his advocacy 
the more comprehensible, he repeatedly drove sticks into the 
soil, dug up small pieces of earth, and gave them to his master, 
bidding Jagajaga to repeat the same forms, which the intelligejU 
chief did, accompanying each act with roars of laughter and 

" So rapturous a feeling did the magnificent entry impart to 
the white chief, that he was ever exclaiming, *0 heavenly, 
heavenly sight ! What man could wish for brighter scenes than 
these for his future pilgrimage on earth ! Ah, me I Benbow, 
let's have a sip of Oognac Vieux, and we'll drink confusion to 
our adversaries.' 

*'*Ay, ay, sir,' responded the parched sailor, producing the 
bottle. * Give the blacks a nobbier, sir ? ' 

" ' 'Sdeath 1 No, man, no. 'Twould be a heinous sin to taint 
their unadulterated palates with baleful firewater, &c. We'll 
have a little.' 

" Meanwhile, Eardinia, third betrothed lubra of Jagajaja, with 
graceful modesty stole up to the council-fire by the side of her 
savage lord, and, in so doing, elicited an exclamation from the 
admiring sailor, Benbow. ' HuUoa, shipmate 1 run up the 
colours ! Here's Miss Wennus de Mediky come into port. Split 
my topsails, Jim, if I don't conwest her jetty shoulders with 
the Order of the Blanket.' . . . The document was ordered to 
be read aloud, and explained : to the terms of which the chiefs 
signified their entire consent by sundry senseless broad grins, 
pulling down the comer of one eye in a playful mood ! " 

The Tasmanian of July 8th, 1836, asked — 

" Can the British Government thus appropriate to itself the 
immense continent of New Holland, and sell it as its own at its 
mere pleasure ? Quite as well might it demand payment of the 
settlers at the large English town at the Bay of islands, or at 

. I 

218 Port Phillip Settlement. 

Hokianga and its vicinity, in New Zealand. 'Oh ! but* would* 
say the Missionaries of all denomioations, Mr. Oakes and others, 
possessors of fine estates at the above places, ' you cannot touch 
us; we possess titles to our properties; we have purchased 
them from the chiefs, the lawful proprietors of the soil.' Here, 
again, are the Phillipians quite as well armed. They produce 
a fine grant deed, ornamented with as many seals as Magna 
Charta, and in justice quite as legal too." 

The Treaty gave no small amusement to a number of 
persons ; but the criticism of the Hobart Town Courier has a 
witty reference to the celebrated Tasmanian native chief, 
Woureddy, the friend of Mr. Robinson, so successful in closing 
peaceably the " Black War of Van Diemen's Land." The article 
is worth copying : — 

"The return of Mr. Batman from his expedition to Port 
Phillip, with the favourable result of his ' interview with the 
aborigines there, has, we learn, induced above a dozen of our 
most wealthy and influential capitalists, both here and at Laun- 
ceston, to join him in the enterprise. As far as placing sheep 
on that fine pastoral country, and bringing it for the first time 
into a productive state, and of which this colony will mainly 
reap the benefit, we cannot but applaud the measure. The 
spirited individuals who embark in it will not only explore and 
bring into use the resources of a hitherto almost unknown 
country, but the compact which Mr. Batman has so wisely made 
with the original owners of the soil must, to a great extent, if 
fairly observed by the whites, have the most happy effect in 
maintaining an amicable intercourse between the graziers and 
their black associates. Happy had it been for Van Diemen's 
Land if the same step had been taken with the aborigines of it 
on its first settlement by the English. But how far this arrange- 
ment will guarantee the ultimate possession of the soil to Mr. 
Batman and his partners is a question on which we do not wish, 
for the present, to offer an opinion. At all events, if the Crown, 
upon forming any establishment there, should assert its right, 
and insist on a return for ensuring the quiet possession of the 
country under the enjoyment of British law, rights, and privi- 
leges, it will, of necessity, at the same time, recognise its right 
and bounden duty to protect and preserve the aborigines of the 
same territory, and will not fail to do what has never yet been 
done, open the coffers of the Home Treasury, in the blessed 
work of teaching, civilising, and supporting them. A nod, 
however, is as good as a wink to a blind horse, and we are happy 
to say, that we yesterday took advantage of the hint (seeing 
those large sums of money, which our kmd contemporaries are 

Batman's Journal and Report. 219 

every week giving us, are never yet forthcoming), and did our- 
selves the pleasure to wait upon the aboriginal chief, Woureddy 
(whose majestic bust, by Mr. Law, now ornaments our reading- 
room), when the following conversation and arrangement took 
place between us : — 

" ' Good morning, Mr. Woureddy. I hope I have the honour 
to see your Majesty in good health ? * 

" The powerful chief gave his reply with an assenting smile. 

" ' You are King, I believe, of all the western part of this 
island, and hold possession from your noble ancestors of those 
fertile tracts of 600,000 acres, more or less, lately visited by 
Mr. G. A. Robinson and Mr. Surveyor Sharland ? ' 

" A significant nod. 

" ' Now that you are going to Flinders Island and Port Phillip 
with Mr. Robinson, and the rest of your friends and relations, 
you will have no olojection to sell me your full right and title to 
that portion of your dominions ? * 

" A significant nod. 

" * I do not expect you to name your price, as you are not yet 
quite perfect in the English language, but I will name it for you. 
Here is a basket of Brown's river potatoes, a roll of tobacco, six 
pipes, a blanket, a dozen loaves of bread, and a dead kangaroo-^ 
are you content ? ' 

(" I thought I could not lose much at this price, though the 
land, I believe, is not very rich, and rather out of the way — 
neither did I wish to impose upon the King — I mean King 
Woureddy — by offering him anything less.) 

" His Majesty, like Jupiter on Olympus, again nodded, and 
the whole of the western country, tiers, plains, rivers, gum-trees 
and all, fell into my possession ; and I hereby give Mr. Road 
Knight, Sir John Owen, Mr. Edward Lord, wild cattle and all, 
due notice to decamp, as all trespassers from this time forth will 
be proceeded against, according to law. 

" I then produced the Conveyance, duly drawn up in triplicate, 
on which Woureddy, with proper regal pomp and dignity, shaking 
a portion of the grease and red ochre out of his pendant locks, 
impressed it first with the palm of his hand, and afterwards 
with his foot. I then hastily gathered up the parchment, 
which I took thus ratified under his sable Majesty's naked 
hand and foot, to be registered in Mr. Beamont's office." 



One of the most remarkable events, connected mth Batman's 
occupation of Port Phillip, occurred during the leader's absence. 
This was the finding of William Buckley, the Wild White 

Some of Batman's servants had been left behind upon 
Indented Head, not far from the entrance of Port Phillip. 
There were whites and blacks among the party. They were 
put in possession of the soil just purchased from a tribe of 
natives. To employ their time, they had to break up and culti- 
vate a piece of ground, so becoming the first gardeners of the 
colony in 1835. Accustomed to intercourse with the sable 
hunters, they were not surprised at a visit from a party of 
them. But it was early in July that a singular-looking person 
accompanied some of these dark friends. Taller than the rest, 
unbent yet with years, having a long, shaggy beard, and loosely 
robed in a roughly-sewn rug, his skin evidently appeared lighter 
in colour than with the others, and there was something in his 
countenance that betrayed a sign of European blood. 

The new settlers, with no knowledge of shipwrecked seamen 
on the coast, and no belief in the possibility of a white prefer- 
ring the customs of savagedom, might well marvel at the appari- 
tion. Alone on the new land, strangers and intruders, they 
may have felt some uneasiness as well. Our countrymen went 
up to him, and asked, quite naturally enough, " Who are you ? " 
But the man was silent. The question repeated, he made an 
effort to reply. He did not use the native tongue for so long a 
time his own, being clearly of opinion that he was confronted by 

BUCKLEY, the Wdd WUte Man , 

\i ' 

\ \ 



The Wild White MAn. 221 

men of another race, to whom he himself at some distant time 
belonged. He never told, he could not tell, the strange conflict 
of thoughts that then took place. Never a man of words, and 
ever one of few ideas, he might well be puzzled and confused at 
such a situation. He did not, he could not, tell his name. 
But he suddenly hit upon a method of getting identified. He 
pointed to his arm. 

There they saw the imprinted letters W. and B, They were 
marks common enough among sailors, and not uncommon then 
with soldiers. The first letter might stand for William. For 
the second several names were mentioned. The dull man's 
dull brain became excited. The old familiar tongue of his 
fatherland came like the pleasant church chimes from a native 
village to the returned wanderer. Suddenly his own name 
came back again. He plunged forth " W — William ; B — 
Buckley." And after this, the word "bread" dropped from 
his lips, as a piece of white man's food was put in his hands. 

Gradually, as the intercourse went on, the tale was told. He 
was a runaway from the party that attempted a settlement of 
Port Phillip in 180S. He left his own people, among whom he 
was in bondage, and he wandered forth into the wilds. Three 
others ran off with him. One was shot by the sentry. The 
two were soon tired of his company, and proposed to return 
to the station. Buckley declared for jfreedom, though in 
the solitude of an unknown country. For thirty-two years he 
had sojourned with the savage inhabitants. 

And what a tale might he have told I What a prize he 
would have been to the Bamum of the period 1 How many 
daring exploits he could have narrated ! What an unlifting of 
the veil from savage life 1 The first and only white man known 
to those New Hollanders of the south, and known for more than 
a whole generation, who could tell about them a more interest- 
ing story ? 

There was another side of the question. He, an Englishman 
of Christian training, thrown thus among untutored barbarians, 
how much good could he have done among them ! An artizan, 
he could teach them house building. A gardener, he could in- 
struct them to raise artificial food. A moderate scholar, they 
would hear from him wondrous tales of what had been wrought 
in civilisation, and be led into paths of progress. Bom in a 

222 Port Phillip Settlement. 

land of Church and Book, what an opportunity for him to raise 
these naked wanderers to know their God ! 

But he was there before our countrymen, clad in skins of 
beasts, unkempt and unwashed, with food such as wild hunters 
only have, dwelling in caves or simple breakwinds. He was as 
his sable friends were. They were as their fathers had been 
before them for long centuries. He had not lifted them to his 
higher standard, but he had sunk to their lower one. 

They who first saw him tried to extract a life of that man's 
past, but failed. Others, with more intelligence, sought the 
same object, but failed. Years of residence among Englishmen 
again were of no avail. They who wanted facts of that strange 
man's history could not get them. Drunk or sober, pleased or 
angry, no tale could be obtained from him, for he had none to 
tell. The present writer lived for eight years as his neighbour, 
and could learn nothing of him, or from him. -He would walk 
down the street with his eyes fixed upon some imaginary spot 
at the other end, looking to neither side, talking to no one. 

A romantic narrative has, it is true, been written by Mr. 
Morgan, long on the Tasmanian press, purporting to be a sort 
of autobiography of Buckley. It need hardly be said that the 
narrative was a romance ; though some writers, as Mr. Labilliere, 
have been induced to give extracts from it as if it were a true 
story, and not a tale founded on facts. 

He would not refer to his Port Phillip life. He seldom 
mentioned anything of even his civilised existence. As Mr. 
Westgarth remarks, he was "always extremely reserved and 
incommunicable in his manner." The following facts may, 
however, be accepted as the leading features of his history. 

William Buckley was born at Macclesfield, in Cheshire, about 
the year 1780. In early life he was a bricklayer. He then 
entered the Cheshire militia ; but, admired for his magnificent 
dimensions of bone and muscle, he was removed to the Fourth 
Kegiment, known as the King's Own, There he misconducted 
himself somehow, and was sentenced to transportation. By one 
account he was convicted of mutiny at Gibraltar. He embarked 
in the Calcutta, for Port Phillip, in 1803. A very old colonist, 
William Kemp, assured the writer that he then knew the tall 
convict ; " but," said he, " he was always thought a stupid fellow 
on board ship." 

The Wild White Man. 223 

Governor Collins remained but three months with his party 
on the shore of Port Phillip Bay, and then removed to Hobart 
Town, where he established the colony of Van Diemen's Land, 
now Tasmania. It was just before his departure that Buckley 
ran away. His absence is noted in the journal of one of the 
officers of the camp. The runaways are mentioned in the 
despatch of Colonel Collins, addressed to Lord Hobart, November 
14, 1803 :— 

'' A desei*tion rather alarming has taken place among them, 
no less than twelve having left the settlement within the last 
week. I had received information that these men were to be 
followed by five others ; who I caused to be seized a short time 
before the hour at which they proposed quitting the settlement. 
The cause of this desertion I can no otherwise account for than 
by the operation of the restless disposition of man, which is ever 
prone to change, for the convicts are well fed and clothed, and 
not overwrought." 

Another allusion to the wanderers occurs in the despatch of 
February 28, 1804 :— 

"The people I had sent after the deserters mentioned in 
the latter part of my letter No. 1, returned on the 16th 
November with five of them, whom they reported to have met 
with at the distance of sixty miles from the encampment." 
Each of these got a hundred lashes. The letter proceeds : — 
" The apprehension of these people was followed in a few days 
by the voluntary return of three others, who had been longer 
absent, and whose appearance bore testimony to the hardships 
they had undergone. These I did not punish ; they required 
medical treatment, and I thought their own tale of their suffisr- 
ings might operate more effectually to deter others from 
absconding than any corporal punishment which I might 

In that communication is the story of the robbery of the 
commissary tent. In the pursuit of the thieves, one was shot 
severely in the abdomen ; but, when caught, would tell nothing 
of his mates. 

" This happened," said Colonel Collins, " on the 27th De- 
cember. Upon the 13th of the following month one of the 
wretches surrendered himself at the camp, having accompanied 
the others, according to his calculation, upwards of a hundred 
miles round the extensive harbour of Port Phillip. He brought 

224 ' Port Phillip Settlement. 

in with him the Commissax/s fowlingpiece, and stated that he 
had subsisted chiefly upon gum and shellfish. His companions 
intended to proceed to the mountains, which are to the west- 
ward of Port Jackson ; and having no reason, from the result of 
some researches which I caused to be made after them, to think 
that they were in my neighbourhood, I forbore harassing the 
miUtary in any fruitless pursuit of them." 

The Governor, after his arrival in Van Diemen's Land, wrote 
thus to Lord Hobart concerning the runaways : — " I left seven 
in the woods at Port Phillip, who must inevitably perish if they 
do not find means to return before Lieutenant Sladden leaves 
that harbour." Buckley, at least, never returned to the Old 
Settlement near Point Nepean ; and, as observed by Mr. Henry 
Field Qumer, in his short but interesting Chronicle of Port 
Phillip, " he was unable to account for the men who had left 
the camp with him." 

Governor Collins, in a letter to his Sydney superior, De- 
cember 16, 1803, tells him that he found it necessary to give 
a hundred lashes to each of the four recovered runaways, and 
yet admitted that this severity had but little deterrent effect, 
since two more were off the day following. He then observes : — 

" One of these is a man of caste (in point of abilities and 
education), superior to the most, but who, from the badness of 
his heart, lately has accused one of the Superintendents and an 
Overseer (a Free man) of some infamous conduct which he could 
not support by any one evidence. Imagining that I should 
withdraw the countenance which I had shown him, he quitted 
the settlement a few days since, taking with him one Gibson, a 
Scotch lad, with whom he was very intimate at the Hulks. I 
can hardly suppose he would attempt to cross to Port Jackson, 
as I think he has more sense, but as he knows nothing of any 
intended removal {to the Derwent), I fear if he does not return 
before it takes place, that the death of himself and his com- 
panions must be the inevitable result of his imprudence. In 
addition to these, I have still two convicts unaccounted for. 
As they were the first who absented themselves, I take it for 
granted they have perished." 

The Scotch lad returned to the settlement. By that return 
he lived to build up a handsome fortune, and' an excellent 
reputation; while Buckley, who preferred the wilds and tho 
blacks, passed an uneventful and a useless life. The one lefi^ 

The Wild White Man. 225 

behind him a family as distinguished for private virtues as for 
public service ; the other had no child to perpetuate his name. 

Some other references of Governor Collins to these runaways 
are described in the chapter on the Settlement of 1803. But 
those in the chaplain's journal are deeply interesting. The Rev. 
Robert Knopwood notes on Wednesday, November 2nd : — 

"At 11 a complaint came before me, as a magistrate, that 
Robert Cannady, servant to Mr. Humphreys, had promised 
Buckly, the Governor s servant, a waistcoat for a pair of shoes 
which he had taken and worn, and would not return the 
waistcoat ; but after hearing on both sides, I had the waistcoat 
given to Buckley. Saturday, 12 A.M. — A party of 6 men went 
out armed in search of 5 convicts that had escaped into the 
woods ; 8 convicts in all absent. Wednesday, 16. — Five of the 
convicts that had escaped were brought to the camp. Thursday, 
17. — His Excellency was obliged to punish the 5 deserters 
that were brought to the camp to deter others from escaping. 
Saturday, 19. — Three of the deserters returned to the camp. 
Monday, 26. — The drum beat to arms by reason of some of the 
convicts had made their escape. Tuesday, 27. — At 9, 6 convicts 
endeavoured to make their escape ; they were beset by a look- 
out party, and one man shot, very badly wounded. Wedn^esday, 
28. — Corporal Sutton returned with the information of 1 man, 
by name Charles Shore, was shot and much hurt ; and cart and 
men were sent to bring him to the camp. Mr. Bowden went for 
the man and one taken prisoner. Friday, 30. — One of the 
soldiers of the signal tent was shot at by the deserters from 
the camp, convicts. Saturday, 31. — Great fires made at a 
distance from the camp ; supposed set on fire by the party that 
escaped from the camp — deserters from the camp, convicts — 
MacAUennan, George Pye, Pritchard, M. Warner, Wm. Buckley ; 
Charles Shaw (correctly spelt this time), wounded and brought to 
the camp ; Page, taken same time when Shaw was shot ; G. 
Lee, and Wm. Gibson (not David Gibson, as elsewhere given). 
Saturday, 7 {December). — 9 soldiers, armed with the same 
rounds of cartridge, sarjant-major (MacCauley), 1 drummer, and 
the gentlemen of the association and subordinates — in the 
whole, military 11, association 18 — went in search of some 
convicts that had escaped from the camp. " The chaplain was of 
the party, saying, "We found many places where they had 
been, and some of their things. It was computed that the 
distance we walked could not be less than 50 miles ; some said 


Of his life with the natives no definite knowledge was ever 
obtained. The writer has spoken with several pei*sons who saw 


226 Port Phillip Settlement. 

the man in 1835, and with one of those who found him, but 
could never learn anything reliable. He may have wandiered 
alone a while. He was evidently drawn by some ties, of affection 
or self-interest, to a fragment of a tribe dwelling on Indented 
Head. Tradition still marks the scene of his sojourn in the 
Buckley's Cave, near Queenscliffe. He dwelt with the dark 
men, and may have taken a wife. The writer has heard tales 
of his partners and children, but placed no confidence in them. 
It was said that a tall woman was seen, of a yellowish colour, 
who might have been his daughter ; but he never confessed to 
wife or child. 

One version of Buckley's early life with the blacks of Port 
Phillip is thus afforded by Mr. S. A. Thomson : — 

" Buckley told me that after being here some length of time 
he was tired of life, and one day sitting down under a she oak- 
tree, longed for death. While thus sitting, he fell off into a 
doze, and was awoke by the noise made by some native gins, 
who, during his sleep, had gathered around him, and were 
evincing their curiosity to one another. When they saw him 
awake, they immediately scuttled off into the Bush ; and, by 
and by, while he was still lying there, a number of their male 
relatives, to whom they had imparted the sight they had seen, 
came round him, and asked him by signs where he came from. 
He, to make as favourable an impression on them as possible, 
rose up from the ground, and, pointing up to the sky, signified in 
the best pantomime that he could, that he had come down 
expressly from thence to visit them. They then made signs for 
him to follow them, and he did so, but in ignorance of their 
intention towards him, although somewhat, in fact, expecting to 
be roasted, the more especially when he was led up to a large 
fire they had made. They merely, however, danced round the 
fire, singing their native songs, and then gave him a roasted 
'possum to eat, which he told me was, without exception, the 
sweetest thing he ever ate in his life. With that same tribe he 
remained, becoming connected to them by marrying the daughter 
of a chief, and living more or less contentedly with them after 
this fashion, but having no descendants by his native bride." 

It does seem strange that, while visits continued to be made 
to that part of the Coast, especially by sealers of Bass's Strait, 
he never made himself known to any whites, and was never 
observed by his countrjmaen who called in for wood and water. 
Collisions occasionally took place ; for sealers and whalers were 

The Wild White Man. 227 

not particular in their conduct to the wild blacks, even carrying 
off their women to vessels, and using them as slaves on their 
island homes. 

The Sydney Gazette of October 4th, 1815, has a singular 
account of a conflict with some of Buckley's darkskins, and 
close to his reputed quarters. The schooner Geordy left Hobart 
Town for Sydney September 1st, and was, says the reporter, 
" driven by adverse winds as far as Port Phillip." The rest of 
the story we give in the language of the Gazette : — 

"She wanted wood and water, and it was determined to 
procure a supply at the first place that appeared favourable for 
that purpose. She, accordingly, came to anchor off Green Cape, 
and landed her boat's crew, four in number, at a small cape a 
little to the southward of the former. Here an immense crowd 
of natives made their appearance, and invited them on shore — 
one, who appeared their chief, at first requesting, but soon after 

demanding, that Mr. M should leave his gun (which was 

the only one they had) in the boat. Becoming very importunate 
for presents firom the strangers, the latter gave them their hand- 
kerchiefs from off their necks. But this was not sufficient; 
they soon assumed a more turbulent, and, at length, a desperate 

manner; and as all but Mr. M were unarmed, at one 

moment all were seized upon, and had no other expectation 
than that of being immediately overpowered and destroyed. 

The chief seemed to have reserved the attack upon Mr. M 

personally for himself; he accordingly seized upon his musket 
with one hand, while with the other he held him by the arm ; 
they both stood on a rock which was of considerable depth on 
one of its sides, which circumstance tended not a Utile to the 

rescue of the assailed party ; for Mr. M , still keeping a firm 

hold on the musket, threw himself off the rock, which freed him 
from his adversary's grasp. Collecting himself as soon as he 
found himself on his legs, he had the mortification to see that all 
his companions were captives. At such a crisis only one alter- 
native remained — a determination to oppose force to force ; he 
fired ; the chief, who had made him his particular object, fell, 
and in a paroxysm of dread which pervaded the assailants, but 
which in fact was only momentary, all his companions escaped, 
and made toward their boat. As soon as the whites had 
separated themselves from the blacks, the missile war com- 
menced. The whirling spear whistled about their ears in all 
directions from 300 or 400 savages, and only a solitary musket 
was their only impediment to a closer manner of attack, from 
which it would have been impossible for any to have escaped. 
The retreat towards the boat was nevertheless so well managed 

Q 2 

228 Port Phillip Settlement. 

that only one received a spear wound, which was in the arm. 
One of the spears split a plank of the boat, and after a necessity 

of answering the attack with severe discharges, Mr. M got 

into the vehicle, and was soon out of the reach of further 
danger, leaving behind his water casks and axes, the latter of 
which might have possibly stimulated the natives to the 
desperate aggression. This instance adds to the numerous 
previous accounts of the same natives, and some of which have 
been truly tragical in their catastrophe, that should serve as a 
caution to our crews against trusting themselves among the 
natives of these coasts without being sufficiently prepared 
against attack." 

Without much doubt Buckley knew of this circumstance, 
and may have witnessed the assault. What were the views of 
the silent man concerning such outrages ? Some sympathies 
might still turn toward his countrymen ; but others would be 
cherished for those who had befiriended him, and who had 
suffered many wrongs already from supposed civilised and 
Christian visitors. We know what were his views in after life, 
when troubles began between whites and blacks at Port Phillip ; 
and when, helpless to prevent mischief, he exiled himself from 
his home of thirty years, and went to live cmd die in Hobart 

Why, it may be asked, did he not embrace the chances then, 
and at other times oflFering, to escape from the natives ? The 
wild and reckless men usually haunting those coasts in the 
Straits were not the sort of companions Buckley could admire. 
Better for him the solitude of the forest, and the society of those 
simple tribesmen who had been ever kind and just to him. In 
fact, it is not clear what circumstances led to his first interview 
with Batman's party, or whether he even then contemplated 
leaving his bush retreat. It was said that, hearing the blacks 
intended to murder the white strangers, he came to warn them 
of their danger. Still, as no warning was given, no measures 
of defence were taken, and no change of scene occurred, there 
is little probability of that tale being correct. Some have 
rather thought that tired at last of his wild existence, he volun- 
tarily sought the men. He must have heard from the aborigines 
the wonderful story of Batman's treaty, and naturally felt 
drawn toward men who wished well to the dark tribes, and 
came to them as friends and fair dealers. With any desire 

The Wild White Man. 229 

to go back to his own race, Batman's party would naturally 
be preferred. 

Yet, when he did approach them, he had nothing to say. 
When he stayed with them, there was but one source of anxiety 
to the silent and timid man. Though he seemed oblivious to 
all that occurred in thirty-two years, he remembered that he 
had been a runaway convict. In coming among his countrymen 
again he had a wholesome dread of the consequences of his 
revelation. Might they not punish him ? To the first friend 
he found, Mr. Wedge, he spoke of his fears. The kind surveyor 
at once resolved to relieve his mind by procuring for him a 
pardon from the Government of Van Diemen's Land. 

He was in no hurry to declare himself. It is scarcely likely 
that the man ever was in a hurry. It is more probable that he 
stole away from the camp, in 1803, than that he ran away. A 
good feeling had prevailed on that fair and fertile plain of 
Indented Head between the two races, and Buckley must have 
known it, as his own dark friends mixed with Batman's party. 
And yet day after day he delayed putting in an appearance 
himself. The hesitancy was a part of his character. He was 
essentially a timid and suspicious man. His long life with the 
blacks did not develop more enterprise and decision, while the 
twenty years he afterwards spent in Hobart Town failed to 
make a change in this placid silent man. 

Though the writer knew Buckley six years only after he was 
found in Port Phillip, though he heard the story of his discovery 
from several early settlers, yet the accounts were so conflicting 
that he prefers giving the earliest written records of the affair. 
One of these was the announcement in the Colonial Times of 
Hobart Town, made not many days after the event : — 

" A most extraordinary discovery," says the reporter, " has 
taken place at Port Phillip. Some of Mr. Batman s men were, 
one fine morning, much frightened at the approach of a white 
man, of immense size, covered with an enormous opossum skin 
rug, and his hair and beard spread out as large as a bushel 
measure. ' He advanced with a number of spears in one hand, 
and a waddy in the other. The first impression of Mr Batman's 
men was, that this giant would put one of them under esM^h 
arm, and walk away with them. The man showing signs of 
speech, their fears subsided, and they spoke to him. At first 

230 Port Phillip Settlement. 

he could not understand one word that was said, and it took 
a few days before he could make them understand who he 
was, and what he had been. His height was given as 6 ft. 
5 J in.. He waa 3 ft. 9 in. round his chest, and 18 in. round the 
cfiJf of his leg. By all accounts," adds the reporter, "he is a 
model for a Hercules. He is more active than any of the 
blacks, and can throw a spear to an astounding distance. He 
refused to leave the natives." 

The Melbourne IHustrated News of 1869 had a representation 
of the man, after the description thus given, and here copied. 

A curious narrative is found in the rudely written autobio- 
graphy of one who had, as he told the writer, '* helped Wellington 
to conquer the world." Not able to conquer himself, poor fellow, 
he had been led against his will to Van Diemen's Land. In 
1835 he went to Port Phillip in charge of some sheep, and 
there saw Buckley just after his discovery. From the autobio- 
graphy of the old man, the writer was graciously permitted to 
make some extracts. The story about the Wild White Man is 
given as it there appeared, spelling and punctuation excepted ; — 

" Mr. Batman's men looked at him, and thought he resembled 
a white man. One of them went up to him to examine him, 
found two letters on his arm, and saying, ' W for WiUiam, and B 
for Burgess,' but never hit on William Buckley. He never 
spoke ; but, at last, hearing the English tongue pronounced so 
often, he burst out and said, 'W for William, and B for 
Buckley.' Then they knew that he was an Englishman. Then 
Mr. Batman had him taken from thence and clothed him, and 
had him shaved and cleaned. He could scarce walk in shoes for 
a while. He was asked what had become of the other two. He 
never would tell, but said they went away, and supposed they 
got killed. He was asked how he had lived with the other 
blacks so many years, but would scarce say anything. If 
any one would ask him any questions concerning himself and 
the blacks, you must have question and answer both one time. 
He did say that he was ten years that he did not know one 
day from another that they would not kill him. Some were 
for killing him, and some not for killing him, but he said the 
oldest black saved him." 

Buckley is thus referred to by Mr. Batman, in a letter he 
wrote to Major Gray, of beautiful Avoca, in Tasmania. The 
Major, an old explorer, and the author of some interesting travels 
in Africa, was a iHend and neighbour to our Port Phillip 

The Wild White Man. 281 

founder. The interesting communication was sent to the author 
in 1867 by Mr. Basil Gray, of Pascoevale, who is mentioned, 
by the way, in this very letter. After some business matters, 
particularly the sale of his Kingston property for 2,000/., Mr. 
Batman proceeds to give some news : — 

" I have received a long letter from Port Phillip. A white 
man has joined my men, who has been with the natives 32 
years. This is a most extraordinary circumstance. He ran 
away from Colonel Collins in 1803, and was a prisoner for life. 
Wedge sent up his petition to the Governor for a pardon. I 
took it to him, and he gave the pardon at once. 1 have sent 
it down to him by a vessel. His name is William Buckley." 

Mr. Fawkner, who saw him in October, 1835, gave this 
version in a letter to a paper in 1836 : — 

** He stood six foot five inches in his stockings, was not very 
bulky, nor overburdened with nous. He fell to the level of the 
blacks. He did not by any means elevate or raise them, or 
instruct them in any maimer. When Buckley first joined the 
whites at Indented Head he had totally forgotten his mother 
tongue ; and the first word he spoke of it was in reply to a 
desire of one J. Gumm, whether he would not have some bread 
to eat. He struggled some time, and then pronounced the 
word ' bread.' " 

According to the account given by Mr. George Evans to the 
author, in 1863, Buckley was first seen by one of Batman's men 
who was given to rambling by himself. Ketuming to the hut 
one day, he exclaimed, " I have seen a white man." He men- 
tions the fact of Buckley being seen sitting in a kangaroo rug, 
and not an opossum skin rug. This had been made by himself, 
and was afterwards presented to Mrs. Batman, whose daughter, 
according to the statement given to the author by this lady, 
made a pair of slippers for the giant. Evans knew of Buckley's 
telling Mr. Gellibrand that he lived well on sea-birds* eggs ; 
that, when a girl was given him for a wife, he had sent her 
back, and was never more troubled with a mate ; that once, 
when a boat called in for wood, he ran into the water crying 
out, ** I am a white man ! " to the terror of the sailors, who pulled 
hastily off to the ship. 

But by far the most interesting account is given by Mr. 
Surveyor Wedge, who saw him at the men's hut on Indented 

232 ^ , Port Phillip Settlement. 

Head in the same month of July he first presented himself. 
The narrative was so extraordinary that it was sent to England 
by Governor Arthur, and printed there in 1836. Having been 
favoured by Mr. Wedge with his own copy of that remarkable 
statement, we give the reader his unvarnished tale :— 

" William Buckley is a native of Marton, near Macklesfield 
in Cheshire, and is now about 66 years old. He entered into 
the supplementary Militia of that county at an early age, to 
the 3rd battalion of which he was attached, and in about 2 years 
afterwards volunteered into the 4th Kegiment of the Line. He 
accompanied the army commanded by the Duke of York to 
Holland, and soon after his return from that expedition was 
convicted of receiving stolen goods and sentenced to transporta- 
tion for life. He arrived at Port Phillip in 1803 with the 
detachment of prisoners destined to form an establishment 
at that place, and whilst there was employed at his trade of 
stone mason in assisting to erect a building for the reception 
of Government stores. 

" A short time previous to the abandonment of the settlement 
by Col. Collins he absconded with 2 other men, named Marmon ^ 
and Pye. Whilst in the bush the party experienced great diflS- 
culty in procuring food, and suflFered great privations ; their chief 
subsistence being cockles and mussels which they picked up on 
the beach of Port Phillip. One of the men left his companions 
before they got to the river at the northern extremity of the 
Port. The natives having set fire to the grass aflforded them 
the opportunity of obtaining fire, which they were afterwards 
careful to keep with them. His other comrade continued with 
him till they had wandered nearly round the Port, and then left 
him somewhere on Indented Head, with the intention of return- 
ing to the Establishment, and suirendering himself to the 
authorities; but whether he or the one- who had previously 
left him succeeded in their object, he could not tell, as he never 
saw or heard of them afterwards. He thinks it probable they 
fell in with the natives and were killed by them. Continuing 
along the beach by himself he completed the circuit of the 
Port, and afterwards proceeded a considerable distance along 
the coast towards and beyond Cape Otway. At this period 
repenting of the step he had taken, and being tired of his 
precarious life, and in constant dread of falling in with the 
natives, he determined on returning to the Establishment 
Soon after he had returned to the neighbourhood of Indented 
Head he fell in with the family of natives with which he con- 
tinued to live till he joined the party left by Mr. Batman. 

^ From what he has since told me I believe he was mistaken in this name. 

. . } 

The Wild White Man. 233 

" His memory fails him as to dates, and he does not appear to 
have any correct idea as to distances, but he supposes his falling 
in with the natives to have occurred about 12 months after 
he left the Settlement. He was received with kindness by the 
natives, who supplied him with food. The name of the chief or 
head of the family was NuUaboin, to whom he attached himself, 
and he continued with him, and accompanied him in his wan- 
derings, till he joined the party left by Mr. Batman on the 12th 
of July, 1835. From the time he was abandoned by his 
comrades up to this period, a lapse of 33 years, he had never seen 
a white man. For the first 5 years of his sojourn with the natives 
his mind and time were fully occupied in guarding against the 
treachery of the other natives whom they occasionally mixed with, 
and in procuring food ; and indeed this may have been said to be 
the case ever afterwards, although from his having acquired a 
perfect knowledge of their language, and become acquainted 
with their habits, the danger to be apprehended from them 
latterly was not so great, and not more so than was the case 
with the natives with regard to each other, for he was entirely 
identified as one of themselves. He, as is every other white 
person, is known by the name of Ammijaie. 

" The natives gave him a wife, but, discovering that she had 
a preference to another man, he relinquished her, but it cost 
her and her paramour dearly. They were punished with death 
for violating the custom which prevails, for when once a female 
is promised as a wife, which generally happens as soon as bom, 
the promise is considered binding. The individual receiving 
the promise recompenses the parents with presents such as 
kangaroo and opossum rugs, shields, clubs, and the like. 
Buckley has no family, legitimate or illegitimate.^ 

"During the whole course of his residence and amidst all his 
wanderings there were no interesting events, save the fact of 
his having passed 33 years of his life amongst savages, and of 
his having retrograded from the habits of civilised life, and lapsed 
into those of the natives, for, in fact, he was one amongst them, 
and, except in cannibalism, he adopted their mode of life in 

" Indeed, isolated as he was, and without the necessaries 
of life to which he had been accustomed, or the means of pro- 
curing them, it was scarcely possible for him to do otherwise. 
Although to some it may appear strange that he should not 
have introduced some improvements in their mode of life, yet to 
those who have had some experience by a residence in uncivilised 
countries, the difficulty of doing so will be fully understood. 
In fact, as I have before said, his whole attention must have 
been directed to self-preservation, both in procuring food, and in 

^ He has since pointed out tu me a woman that he says is his daughter. 

284 Port Phillip SETTLiEMENT. 

guarding against treachery. For an individual situated a& was 
Buckley, to conciliate the natives he must conform to their 
customs. If they hunt, he must hunt with them, and he must 
participate in all their pastimes. If their condition is to be 
ameliorated, it must be accomplished by numbers and by the 
force of example. Becoming acquainted with the comforts of 
civilisation may be likely to lead them to be desirous of 
partaking thereof. 

" Although Buckley was always anxious ^to return amongst 
his countrymen, he had for many years lost all hope of having 
an opportunity of doing so. The circumstance which led to his 
discovering that the party left by Mr. Batman was in his neigh- 
hood, was that two of the natives having stolen an axe, and 
being told by some of the natives that they would be punished 
for the theft, they went away, and felling in with Buckley told 
him that white men were in the neighbourhood, and also the 
cause of their coming away from them, and intimated that they 
would induce other natives to join them for the purpose of 
returning to spear the white men. Buckley dissuaded them 
from marking the attempt, stating that there were a great many 
white men where they came from, and that if any of the white 
men were killed, numbers would come and kill every black man 
they could find. Thus intimidated, they abandoned their 
intention. Buckley then went in search of Mr. Batman's 
party, and in 2 days joined them. They were living in a sod 
hut which they had built, and several native families were 
encamped around them. 

" On Buckley's coming to the place he was observed by one of 
the men, and it was with no little surprise, if not with a mixture 
of fear, that he and the other men contemplated the approach 
of a man so gigantic in appearance, and whose general aspect, 
erect as he was, and enveloped in his kangaroo-skin rug, with 
his long beard and a head of hair of 33 years' growth, and 
bearing his spears, shield, and dirks, was well calculated to instil 
fear into any one. But on this, as well as on many other 
occasions during their intercourse with the natives, they showed 
great tact and presence of mind by not evincing fear, if they 
felt any. They were impressed with the belief that Buckley 
was the head chief, and were doubtful whether he was peaceably 
inclined or not. 

*■ " Buckley went direct to the native encampments and sat 
himself down amongst them, apparently taking but little notice 
of the white men ; they, however, went to him, and soon recog- 
nised the features of an European ; and, on questioning him, 
with some difficulty learnt who he was. He could not then 
express himself 13" English, and on being asked questions he 
only repeated them as do all the natives — at least all that I 

The Wild White Man. 285 

have fallen in with ; and it was about ten days before he could so 
collect himself as to express himself with any degree of fluency 
in his own language. And it not unfrequently happened that 
he put and answered questions in the language of the natives. 

" Buckley in height is 6 feet 6 inches without shoes, is well 
proportioned, with an erect military gait. He subsisted in 
common with the natives on roots of various sorts, fish, kangaroo, 
and any other animals that chance brought in his way. Altho' 
his life was a wandering one, yet he resided principally on the 
sea coast, and in the neighbourhood of Indented Head, and 
never migrated far, except, I think, on one occasion only, when 
he went about 150 miles, as he supposes, to the westward of 
Port Phillip. 

" On one occasion Buckley accompanied me on an excursion 
for a week, during which we fell in with the family he had lived 
with. If I had any doubts as to the fact of his never having 
seen a white man during his residence with the natives (and I 
confess, knowing that the sealers were in the habit of sometimes 
visiting this part of the coast, I was not without them at first), 
they were now entirely removed. Nuliaboin and his family had 
never seen a white man, with the exception of Buckley, till he • 
saw me. He received and examined me with great curiosity, 
opening my waistcoat and shirt to see whether the whole of my 
body was white. 

" They were very attached to Buckley, and both Nuliaboin 
and his wife cried bitterly when he left them. Buckley resides 
at present at the Settlement formed bv the gentlemen who have 
associated to form a new Colony, through the means of the 
friendly intercourse estabhshed by Mr. Batman with the abori- 
gines ; and he has expressed his intention of remaining for the 
purpose of being the medium of Communication with the 

" On receiving his conditional pardon, which his Excellency 
Lieut.-Qovemor Arthur so humanely and promptly granted him 
on being made acquainted with his case, as a reward for his 
meritorious conduct in preventing the natives from attacking the 
white men, his feelings were powerfully excited, so much so that 
it wa^ some time before he had the power of utterance. Never 
shall I forget the joy that beamed in his countenance when I 
communicated that he was a free man and again received 
within the pale of civilised society. In desiring me to convey 
his grateful acknowledgments to the Lieut. -Governor for his 
kindness, and to the gentleman who had interested himself in his 
behalf, he was powerfully agitated ; and if ever man was sincere 
in giving vent to his feelings, Buckley was so in expressing his 
thanks on this occasion. 

" These are all the circumstances I could collect respecting 

f ^ 

236 Port Phillip Settlement. 

Buckley during my short stay, but it is probable that as he 
becomes better acquainted with his native tongue, he will be 
able to recollect many things, and express himself more fully on 
the events which have occurred." 

It was Mr. Wedge who drew up the petition for the Absconder 
to obtain pardon from the Governor of Van Diemen's Land. 
From the manuscript copy in that worthy Surveyor's hand- 
writing the following is extracted : — 

'" The Humble Petition of William Buckley to His Excellency 
Colonel George Arthur, Lieutenant-Governor of Van 
Diemen's Land, humbly sheweth — 

" That your Petitioner was a private in the Cheshire Suple- 
mentary Militia about two years, when he volunteered into 
the 4th Eegt. of foot, or King's Own, of which regiment he was 
attached to the third battalion, and continued therein between 
two and three years, during which time he accompanied that 
regiment in the expedition to Holland. 

" That your Petitioner was afterwards convicted of receiving 
stolen property, and was transported for life. 

" That your Petitioner arrived at Port Phillip, New Holland, 
about, thirty years ago, and on the breaking up of the establish- 
ment your Petitioner with two others (the name of one of whom 
was William Marmon) absconded, and subsisted on the sea coast 
for about twelve months, when he fell in with a family of 
natives, with whom he has continued up to the present time. 
That your Petitioner has at various times suffered great priva- 
tions from the want of food. 

" That your Petitioner^ previously to his joining the natives, 
returned to Port Phillip with the intention of surrendering 
himself to the authorities, but was prevented from doing so 
by the departure of the establishment. 

" That your Petitioner has never seen a white man since that 
period, until he came to the establishment formed by Mr. 

Batman, Mr. Wedge, and other gentlemen, on the 

July, 1835. 

"That your Petitioner two days previously to joining the 
establishment learnt from the natives that white men were in 
the neighbourhood, and that they with others intended to spear 
them for the sake of the plunder which they would get. 

"That your Petitioner remonstrated with them and dis- 
suaded them from their intentions — that your Petitioner has 
ever since exerted himself, and has succeeded in convincing 
them of the friendly disposition of the white men towards the 

The WiLf) White Man. 237 

" That your Petitioner will continue to do all in his power to 
render permanent the good understanding that has been estab- 
lished, for which services your Petitioner humbly prays for the 
indulgence of a free pardon. And your Petitioner will ever 

The description of the man is also taken from Mr. Wedge's 
manuscript, and is signed by his initials : — 

" Description of William Buckley, — Height without shoes, six 
feet five inches and seven-eighths ; age, fifty-three ; trade, brick- 
layer ; complexion, brown ; head, round ; hair, dark brown ; 
whiskers, dark brown ; visage, round and marked with small- 
pox ; forehead, low ; eyebrows, bushy ; eyes, hazel ; nose, pointed 

and turned up ; mouth, ; chin, . Native place, Marton, 

near Macklesfield, Cheshire. Bemarks : Well-proportioned, with 
an erect military gait ; mermaid on upper part of right arm ; 
sun, half-moon, seven stars, monkey ; W. B. on lower part of 
right arm. 

"Jno. H. W." 

At the same time he despatched a letter to Captain Montagu, 
then Colonial Secretary of Van Diemen's Land, recommending 
the appeal he had proposed for Buckley. The rough draft of 
this letter is in the writer's possession, and the following may 
be seen as its contents : — 

" Sir, — In reference to the petition of William Buckley for 
a free pardon, which I have the honour to transmit herewith, 
I beg to bear testimony to the essential service he has rendered 
in becoming the means of communication with the natives, and 
I have no hesitation in saying that through him there is every 
probability of making permanent the friendly intercourse that 
was commenced by Mr. Batman in his recent excursion, already 
detailed by that gentleman to the Government, with the abo- 
rigines ; and from the fact of his having saved the lives of the 
eight men who were left here by Mr. Batman, together with 
the circumstance of his having made a voluntary offer of becom- 
ing in future the medium of communication with the aborigines. 
I beg most earnestly to recommend his petition to the favourable 
consideration of his Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor ; and 
in doing so I feel that I scarcely need advert to the danger 
that would ensue to the lives of those who may in future reside 
here, by his being driven to despair by the refusal of his 
petition, which would probably induce him to join the natives 
again ; and in which event there is no calculating on the mis- 
chief that might ensue by the hostile feelings that he would 
have it in his power to instil into the breasts of the natives. 

288 Port Phillip Settlement. 

I doubt not, as an act of humanity towards those who may 
come to sojourn in this Settlement, the above circumstance will 
have weight in the consideration his Excellency will bestow 
on the prayer of the petition. If I might be allowed, I would 
respectfully suggest that it should at once be conceded to him, 
and his free pardon sent by the next vessel that will be despatched 
to this place. Buckley is a most interesting character; from 
his long residence amongst the natives he has acquired a great 
influence over them, as well as all their habits and language ; 
in fact he had nearly forgot his native tongue, and it was some 
days before he could express himself in it. The two men who 
absconded with him left him before he joined the natives, and 
he has never heard of them since ; he supposes they were killed 
by them. Buckley is gigantic in size, measuring in height six 
feet five inches and seven-eighths without shoes, and of good 
proportions, and I have no doubt but he is indebted for his life 
to his ferocious appearance. From the circumstance of his 
having been obliged to direct the whole of his attention to 
self-preservation and to procuring food for subsistence, his 
memory has almost altogether failed him as to time and events 
which occurred previous to his leaving England. He forgets 
the name of the vessel he came in, as well as that of the 
captain and the commandant of the Settlement From his in- 
formation, the natives are in the lowest grade of ignorance, 
having no idea of a Supreme Being, and altho* I have had but 
a short intercourse with them I am inclined to give credence to 
his statement, and I have acquired sufficient confidence in them 
to trust myself amongst them in excursions into the interior ; 
1 went about 12 miles with them yesterday. I have, &c., 

"Jno. H. W. 

" To Captain Montagu, Col, Secretary, 

The petition was written in July, and the reply of Mr. 
Montagu was dated August 25th, 1835. It was a cautiously 
worded document, worthy of that astute secretary. True it was 
that Buckley had been under the authority of Governor Collins, 
but had escaped while that officer held his temporary jurisdic- 
tion in Port Phillip. Although the Settlement had been trans- 
ferred to the Derwent, it was not clear whether the Hobart 
Town Government had the right to grant a pardon. Still, a 
recommendation of it should be sent home, and mainly on the 
ground that the influence of Buckley might be well employed 
to prevent collision between the two races. Knowing, too, that 
the Sydney authorities might be disposed to indulge some 
suspicions relative to the Port Phillip Association, whose lead- 

The Wild White Man. 239 

ing members had pleaded for the pardon, an official disclaimer 
was put into the letter. The whole text ran thus : — 

"Van Dibmbn's Land, 

"CoiiONiAL Secretaky'b Office. 

" Sir, — Having submitted to the Lieut.-Govemor your letter 
of the 9th of July last, enclosing a petition from William 
Buckley, a runaway convict recently discovered at Port Phillip, 
after having been for some years domesticated with the natives 
of that part of the coast of New Holland, and his Excellency 
having considered the subject of your representation of this 
man's conduct, and the services he has rendered in promoting 
a friendly disposition between the aborigines with whom he has 
been so long time associated and the whites who have recently 
visited the coast of New Holland, I am directed to acquaint you 
that the Lieutenant-Governor is doubtful how far he is author- 
ised to grant a free pardon to William Buckley, as he is not 
within the jurisdiction of this Government ; but his Excellency 
has, notwithstanding, acquiesced in the preparation of the usual 
instrument, in the hope that, from considerations of policy, the 
indulgence will be acceded to by his Majesty's Government. 

" I am further desired to inform you that the Lieutenant- 
Governor's compliance with your request in this instance is 
founded upon a desire to prevent bloodshed, and with a view to 
remove any inducement on Buckley's part to make common 
cause with the natives in the commission of any outrages upon 
the white immigrants, which might lay the foundation of a war 
of extermination ; and his Excellency also entertains the san- 
guine expectation that, if this man's energies and influence be 
well directed, the aborigines may be so thoroughly conciliated 
as to insure a lasting amity between them and the present 
or any future immigrants to that part of the coast of New 

" I am further to signify the desire of his Excellency that it 
may be distinctly understood that the reasons stated in this 
letter form the only grounds for the present concession, which 
must not be construed into the admission of any claim made 
by the gentleman associated with Mr. Batman to the territory 
at Port Phillip, or any part thereof. 

"(Signed) John Montagu." 

The acknowledgment of this official reply was made by 
Mr. Wedge from his Tasmanian home, Leighland. The rough 
draft was sent to the author by that gentleman. 

" Leighland, 15 October^ 1835. 
"Sir, — I had the honour of receiving your letter, accoin- 
panied with the free pardon for Wm. Buckley, which was 

240 Port Phillip Settlement. 

forwaxded to me at Port Phillip. In acknowledging the receipt 
of them, I beg to express the obligations I am under for the 
humane and prompt attention paid by the Lieutenant-Governor 
to my representation of Buckley's case ; and I was especially 
directed by him to convey his thanks to his Excellency for his 
free pardon, and also his assurance that he will do ail in his 
power to perpetuate the friendly understanding with the natives 
that waa so fortunately established through the treaty effected 
by Mr. Batman in June last ; and it is with much satisfeiction 
that I can state, from the observations I had an opportunity of 
making whilst residing amongst them, that there is every chance 
of a continuance of the good understanding, provided a proper 
system be observed in our future intercourse. 

" I have the honour to be, 

" Your obedient servant, 

"Jno. H. Wedge." 

The readiness with which the pardon was granted is thus 
explained in a letter from Governor Arthur to Lord Glenelg : — 

" From dear bought experience I know that such a man at the 
head of a tribe of savages may prove a most destructive foe, and 
his good oflices cannot be too soon propitiated by an apparent 
act of grace." 

It was not, then, from any merciful consideration to one who 
had endured thirty years' isolation and misery that the favour 
was granted, but from an impulse of policy. Years before, in 
Van Diemen's Land, the aborigines had been led to deeds of 
ferocity against the settlers, especially when headed by the 
unscrupulous Mosquito. But Buckley had neither the scheming 
head nor passionate energy of Mosquito, while the blacks of 
Port PhilUp lacked the unity of purpose and resolution of 
revenge displayed by the darker sons of Tasmania. Yet some 
feared the quiet Buckley; since the Cornwall Chronicle could 
say, July 23rd, 1836 :— 

" This much-talked-of Buckley has probably by this time, in 
accordance with his expressed intentions, taken to the Bush, 
where he possesses absolute control (I) over the natives, and 
will, of course, teach them to avenge his wrongs. He has 
threatened the lives of several of the principals of the establish- 
ment and, savage like, will be as good as his word." 

As some little misconception arose between Buckley's two 
friends — Batman and Wedge — as to their respective good 

The Wild White Man. 241 


offices, the latter, in a letter to the former, dated October 
14th, 1835, thus referred to the circumstance : — 

"I could not shut my eyes or be deaf to the remark you 
made respecting Buckley's obtaining his pardon through your 
influence with the Lieut-Governor. A very few minutes after 
your brother had perused your letter, he remarked to Buckley 
that it was very fortunate that you happened to be in Hobart 
Town at the time the memorial arrived there, that you had 
waited on the Governor and obtained his free pardon, &c., 
giving him to understand that it was through your influence 
alone that Col. Arthur conceded to the prayer of the petitioner ; 
and as your words the other afternoon were almost the echo of 
his (your brother's), I cannot do otherwise than suppose that 
what he stated was from your instructions. 

" If the pardon was through your influence, every credit is 
due to you for it, and no one would feel under greater obligation 
to you than myself. If, on the other hand, you assume that 
which I consider emanated entirely from the correct and humane 
view which the Lieutenant-Governor took of the representation 
that was made by me, I do not think it foir toward others of 
the proprietors who may reside at Dutigalla, for it certainly 
looks as though you intended to get the whole credit to yourself, 
and by which to obtain an undue influence over the mind of 
Buckley, and through him over the minds of the natives." 

Much was undoubteilly expected from Buckley. Almost any 
other man, in his condition, might have been very useful in 
those times. He could have conciliated his dark friends, have 
removed their suspicions, and soon made them of active service 
to the white man. But his diffidence and idleness equalled his 
inertness and cowardice. He had never sought to be the 
Napoleon of Port Phillip, and ever shrank from the notice of 
stranger blacks. He had little influence, and never cared to 
use what he had. To be the mediator between two such oppo- 
site races, with such opposite views of life, would have been 
difficult enough for a professional diplomatist, and was far 
beyond his powers. Big as he was, he feared to chide the 
weakest and meanest of whites in any wrong-doing to the 
natives, while he was helpless to prevent retaliations from 
them for such injuries done. He was a failure. 

Mr. Batman was kind to him, and kept him near his own hut 
on Batman's Hill, Melbourne, where the ex-bricklayer reared 
the first brick chimney in that locality. In a letter of 


242 Port Phillip Settlement. 

February, 1836, Mr. Wedge gave" the following report con- 
cerning the man : — 

"He resides at present at the settlement formed by the 
gentlemen who have associated to form a new colony, through 
the means of the friendly interest which has been here estab- 
lished. He expresses his intention of remaining at present, for 
the purpose of being the means of communication with the 
natives. On his receiving the conditional pardon which his 
Excellency the Governor most humanely and promptly for- 
warded to him on his case being made known, and hearing 
of the meritorious assistance he had aflforded the settlers, he 
was most deeply aflfected ; and nothing could exceed the joy he 
evinced at once more feeling himself a free man, received again 
within the pale of civilised society." 

But nothing could be done with him. Old Nathaniel Goslyn 
remarked that the best thing to be done was for Mr. Batman to 
put up " a place for him at the end of a small store, that he 
might keep the blacks from robbing him." Mr. Fawkner, who 
never loved the man, ridiculed the idea of his being of any use, 
even to the Association that petted him ; not to the extent of 
showing where good pasture could be found. "Alas ! " said he, 
" the lump of matter was too mindless to yield any very use- 
ful information." Captain Stokes observed : " His intellect, if 
he ever possessed much, had almost entirely deserted him, and 
nothing of any value could be procured from him respecting the 
history and manners of the tribe with whom he had so long 

Besides Messrs. Wedge and Batman, the gentle solicitor, Mr. 
Gellibrand, ever the friend of the dark race, was the only man 
to whom Buckley in any way revealed himself. Mr. Gellibrand 
certainly indulged considerable expectations concerning him. 
Through him the Association not only clothed and fed him, 
but gave him a horse -and apportioned him a salary. The man 
was made a sort of constable, and was supposed at once the 
shield of the black and the guide of the white. Mr. Gellibrand 
has left on record, in his Port Phillip Journal, his views 
respecting the runaway : — 

*' Feb, — I have this morning had a long conversation with 
Buckley, and explained to him very fully the desire of the 
Association in every respect to meet his views, and to make 

The Wild White Man. 243 

him superintendent over the native tribes, for the purpose of 
protecting them from aggressions; and also, acting as an in- 
terpreter, in imparting to them not only the habits of civiUsa- 
tion, but also of communicating religious knowledge. It 
appears from his statement that the tribes are most peaceably 
disposed ; that they fully understand the nature of the grants 
issued by them, and that they are looking forward to the time 
when the blankets, tomahawks, and flour will be distributed. 

" Buckley appears to be of a nervous and irritable disposition, 
and that a little thing would annoy him .very much; but this 
may arise from the peculiar situation in which he has been 
placed for so many years. I am quite satisfied that he can be 
only acted upon by kindness and conciliation, and that by these 
means he will be an instrument, in the hands of Providence, in 
working a great moral change upon the aborigines. He is not 
at all desirous of occupying land and having sheep, but is 
highly pleased with the idea of being appointed Superinten- 
dent of the natives, with a fixed stipend ; so that, to use his 
own expression, "he may know what he has to depe^d upon, 
and be enabled to make a few presents to his native friends. ' 

He once accompanied this excellent gentleman on a tour to 
the west of Geelong, and introduced him to the native family 
with whom he had stayed. It is recorded that he rode as much 
as twenty-five miles a day in company with Mr. Gellibrand. 
Already outrages had begun. This is not the place to refer to 
those conflicts. But on this tour the legal representative of the 
Association was brought face to face with this native difiieulty. 
There is the foUowing entry in his journal :— 

"Feb, 15th. — Upon my arrival at the Settlement I found 
about one hundred and fifty natives, and I learnt with much 
concern that an aggression had been committed upon on,e of 
the women." It was the old story of brutal assault by a 
shepherd. He writes on : " The natives — men, women, and 
children — assembled around me. I explained to them, through 
Buckley, our determination in every instance to punish the 
white man^ and to protect the natives to the utmost of our 

But the evil did not cease. On our side we heard of the 
outrages of the blacks, but the story of the aborigines waa 
unheard. Murders followed on both sides. Poor Buckley 
was between two fires, for both parties complained of his 
inability to prevent the rupture. The European settlers of 

R 2 


244 ' Port Phillip Settlement. 

the ruder sort loudly asserted the complicity of Buckley in 
some of the attacks; or, at any rate, his satisfaction at the 
wrongs endured by his countrymen. Mr. Fawkner wrote to a 
paper there respecting Buckley : " He soon displayed a spirit 
of antagonism to the whites, and, in fact, stated one day, when 
hard pressed, that he should rejoice if the whites could be 
driven away, he did not care how, so that the aborigines could 
have the country to themselves again." Old Goslyn's journal 
has this reference to him : " He said it was the white people's 
fault. This latter part I heard Mr. Gellibrand say myself — ^they 
thought he might go back to them; then, what mischief he 
would dol " 

Poor harmless fellow ! There was no fear of his heading a 
revolt. The Launce^ton Examiner remarked : " The report that 
Buckley, the Anglo-aboriginal of Port Phillip, had taken to the 
Bush, and had been concerned with the natives in the late 
murders, is without foundation. Buckley has all along con- 
tinued to reside with Mr. Batman." It was a very uncomfort- 
able time for him. Mr. Hoddle, the surveyor who laid out 
Melbourne, remarks : " In a conversation I had with him when 
acting as constable, he appeared much discontented with his 
situation, and regretted that white men had disturbed the 
happy and independent life he had led with his sable friends." 
Mr. McKillop was of opinion that Buckley was not only a very 
timid man, but was well aware of the treacherous character of 
the blacks and the violent rudeness of the shepherds. 

A petition was presented by Buckley to Governor Bourke in 
November, 1837, praying for "a grant of land, or such other 
assistance as to your Excellency may seem fitting, in order that 
your petitioner may not in his old age be reduced to distress." 
He would have no objection to a pension of 100/. a year. He 
is thus made to set forth his public services : — 

" That your Petitioner respectfully sheweth, that, on the 
arrival of the party who first commenced sending stock and 
settling on the said Territory of Port Phillip, your Petitioner 
was instrumental in explaining the nature and object of their 
being there, and by this means inducing an amicable under- 
standing between them. 

"That your Petitioner, from his age, and his having been 
separated from civilised life during thirty-two years, is unable 

The Wild White Man. 245 

to gain his livelihood as others are; and further, he has, by 
joining his countrymen, so far displeased (his adopted country- 
men during thirty-two years) the natives of Port Phillip, that 
he could not with that safety, comfort and satisfaction (which 
he heretofore enjoyed) again join them. He, therefore, most 
earnestly and respectfully entreats the humane consideration 
of your Excellency to his very peculiar case." 

Sir Richard ventured to recommend the case, in relation to 
the pension. But the reply of the British Minister was un- 
favourable. In his letter of June 4th, 1838, he declared : — 

" Buckley has already obtained presents, and a salary of 75/. 
a year for services which he has rendered ; but, especially when 
taken in connection with his former history, they do not appear 
to him suflScient to warrant any further remuneration from 
the public." 

It was in the Governor s instructions to Captain Lonsdale, 
when sending that oflBcer to take charge of the Port Phillip 
Settlement, that the following command appears : — 

" You will continue to employ, as the medium of communica- 
tion with them (the natives), the European named Buckley, 
who has so long resided amongst them, allowing him the same 
salary (50/.) as he now receives from Mr. Batman and his 

But, as he was the best abused man of the period, and had 
nothing to say for himself, it was better for all parties that he 
should leave Port Phillip. So he was sent to Hobart Town, 
under the care of Government, and put into some quiet and 
simple situation. He was gate-keeper at the Female Factory 
till 1852, when he was allowed a pension of 52/. About 1839 
or 1840 he married a widow, whom we have often seen walking 
with her silent mate, barely able to reach his arm ; and who, 
doubtless, found something to love in the man who seemed to 
shrink so from his fellows. He died February 2, 1856, at the 
age of seventy-six. 

The present work contains two sketches of Buckley, taken by 
Mr. Wedge in 1835, and a fanciful view of the man when first 
met with, as given by the Melbourne Tllvstrated News. 

The only parallel story to that of Buckley which Australia 
can present is connected with James Morrill. He had been 
wrecked near Cape Cleveland (off Queensland), in 1846, and 

246 Port Phillip Settlement.. 

was the only survivor of the crew at th^ end of three years. 
About 1862 he heard of the gradual approach of the whites, 
And the quarrels and murders following the contiguity of two 
hostile races. He might have left his dark companions before 
he did, but had evidently the same reluctance to withdraw that 
Buckley experienced. At last he made himself known at a 
hut, though, as he said, words choked in his throat. 

But, like Buckley, he had no tale to tell. It was hoped by 
some that he might do good service in promoting peace in those 
outlying districts. But, like Buckley, he could neither save 
his old friends from injury, nor his new friends from attack. 
Both parties now mistrusted him. The silence of the Bush had 
fallen upon him, as upon the wild white man of Port Phillip. 
The Eockhampton Bulletin related the eflforts of the magistrate 
to sound the man by questions " intended to draw forth a con^ 
nected narrative of Morrill's experiences. But the latter, with 
that reticence customary to those who have long, and we may 
add hopelessly, endured suflfering, contented himself with mono- 
syllabic replies, and augmented rather than satisfied the thirst 
of his audience for information." 

Fishing in Ccv& , GUrmies IsIoiuAj. 




Mr. Wedge's Field Book, kindly sent to the author, nearly 
twenty years ago, by the pioneer surveyor of Port Phillip, is 
about seven inches long, three broad, and an inch thick. The 
memoranda, in most cases of pencil, were here and there copied 
over in ink. It furnished the material for the preparation of 
his report upon the land, hereafter to be seen. 

At one end is a vocabulary of native words, arranged alpha- 
betically, a page being allotted to each letter. A B C D pages 
are torn out. It is not unlikely that some words are incorrectly 
reported, for question or answer may have been misunderstood. 
Some of these, however, will have their interest now : — 
















Mogail kai. 


























Fine weather. 

Corecart, '■ 

Mountain parrot 

Firing a gun. 








Nankeen hird. 







Little girl. 



Go to your own 

1 Oangulla, 







Pick it up. 

Get up. 



Get some wood. 

{ Oangulla ne wain- 







Sing to. 




I will go with you. 

Tanie i doan. 

I do not under- 

' 1 Bungilinnia, 

Throwing stick. 

stand you. 

Kangaroo spear. 





Port Phillip Settlement. 















Station Peak. 


There is none. 


Throw down. 






What is this ? 








Will you give me ) Gungallianic vxi- 

some bread ? ) narung. 

Water. OhaU, 

Wm you go with ) y.^„^ . ^ 

me ? ) 

White parrot. Kingio. 

What ? Vinyar. 

We will go back. \^''J^^^^ '^^^''' 

White man. Aniajaic. 

Yesterday. Talio. 

Yes. ffa ha, 


Gin gin bail. 


You and me. 

Elsewhere a few others axe mentioned ; as Yeareap, an iron- 
bark tree ; Bawain, white gum tree : and a large number of 
places, as Danibaconacork, Corramworanurranuk, &c. 

There are two inventories given in the memorandum book. 
One, referring to supplies, is dated 15th August, 1835 : — 

24 Bags Flour. 
13 do. Oatmeal. 
9 do. Bice. 

1 Cask OatmeaL 

2 do. Beef. 
8 do. Pork. 

4 Bags of Sugar. 

1 Chest Tea. 

1 Bale Blankets. 

1 do. Slops. 
12 lbs. Gunpowder. 
44 bags Potatoes. 

The other gives the following list of articles at the encamp- 
ment : — 

1 Cask of OU. 

1 Box — J*" Gum. 

2 Iron Pots. 
Tin Kettle. 
Do. Pot. 

10 Bars Iron. 

1 Cask Pork. 
1 Bag Salt. 
2- Spades. 
4 Hoes. 


Cask Vinegar. 

Box Soap. 


Bg. Sugar, 
2 Bags— Sundries. 
4 Tin Pots. 
1 Bucket. 
8 Tubs. 




The Note-book was also used by the surveyor to draw up the 
rough draft of letters. Thus, there is the following, evidently 
intended for Messrs. Jackson and Co., who preceded Mr. 
Fawkner in settling on the banks of the Yarra: — 

" I beg leave to inform you that the situation on which you 
have formed your encampment is within the limits of the tract 
of land obtained by Mr. Batman on behalf of other gentlemen 
and myself, by a treaty with the natives. I trust, therefore, 
upon receiving this information you will see the propriety of 
selecting a situation that will not interfere with the boundaries 

The Surveyor's Note-Book and Report. 249 

described in the deed of conveyance. The description of our 
land is as follows : It commences on the banks of a river (Yarra), 
eight miles eastward of the junction which it forms with another 
river coming from the west of north (Scdtwaier), The S.E. 
boundary being a line bearing north north-east, about forty 
miles from thence, taking a westerly direction to a high 
conical hill, and from thence a south south-west direction to 
the coast. 

" I am, gentlemen, 

** Your obedient servant, 

" Jno. H. W." 

There is, also, this interesting sketch, in pencil, of the reason 
why he gave up the situation of Assistant Surveyor-General in 
Van Diemen's Land : — 

" In relinquishing the situation which I held under Govern- 
ment, and proceediug to Port Phillip, I felt that the enterprise 
into which I was anxious to embark was of such a nature as to 
render the following the impulse of my feelings a most impru- 
dent step, without ascertaining its propriety by personal obser- 
vation ; especially as it would not only involve the emoluments 
of my office, but a large extent of capital to be employed in it. 
With these feelings I proceeded to Port Phillip, intending to 
direct my attention to the nature of the country, the facility 
afforded by navigation of transporting the future produce of the 
country to foreign markets, and, particularly, to the habits and 
characters of the natives of the country, with a view to satisfy 
my own mind, and that of my friends, as to the security of 
, residing amongst them ; as well, also, to enable me to form some 
judgment as to the probability or chance of leading the abori- 
gines by degrees to embrace the advantages of religion, together 
with the other benefits to be derived from civilisation. 

" I arrived at my destination on the 7th August, 1835, landing 
at the encampment of three men left by Mr. Batman, near 
Indented Head, on the Peninsula west of the passage into Port 
Phillip; — that gentleman having a few weeks previously ex- 
amined a portion of the country, during which he succeeded in 
establishing a friendly communication with the natives. This 
circumstance induced him to leave the three men alluded to 
above, with five Sydney natives, in order to keep up the friendly 
communication that had been established. At the encampment 
I found seven families of the natives, amounting altogether to 
forty-six in number, and a person of the name of Buckley, who 
had been residing with them for about thirty years, and who had 
absconded from the detachment of prisoners that had been sent 
by the Government to this place, just previously to its being 
relinquished. Through the information of this man, and from a 


Pout Phillip Settlement. 

few days* observation, I became quite satisfied, provided proper 
steps were taken, that the friendly intercourse which had 
happily been efiTected by Mr. Batman (and for which every praise 
is due to him) might be made permanent. 

" Like those of every other country in a state of nature, these 
people, commonly called ' savages ' — (but I much doubt, judging 
from the atrocious acts of barbarity that have marked the career 
of Europeans amongst them, whether the white man is not more 
deserving of that epithet than the man of colour, and I fear the 
stain is as indelibly fixed on the English, if not more so, than 
that of any other country) — were anxious to be possessed of 
everything which they took a fancy to — ^tomahawks, knives, 
blankets, and more especially bread, were what they never 
ceased to importune you for, and if they could get it unper- 
ceived, they did not hesitate to take it. And it is quite in- 
credible the quantity of bread, potatoes, and fresh meat they 
would devour at one meal. Possessing these propensities, I was 
forcibly struck with the necessity of using great forbearance 
towards them when detected in their trifling peculation, and the 
caution that was necessary to be observed towards them. 

But the most difiicult matter was the inducing the servants 
of the establishment to take the same view respecting, and to 
act on the same principle towards, them. In fact, I then 
thought, and am still of the same opinion, that it will be 
almost impossible to eflfect this desirable end. However, Nil 
deyperandum, much may, and I hope will, be done by the force 
of example ; and I think everything depends on a proper person 
being employed to superintend them." 


The survey of the country in 1835 was conducted in the usual 
way. The Field Book is not perfect ; so that a few extracts may 
be sufficient to indicate the character of work. Page 7, relating 
to the south-west comer of Port Phillip, is as follows : — 

Saltwater marsh. 
S50 El 

Saltwater Marsh 
to fine Grassy Rises 

S85 El 




West 4. M : 
Fri : 16 Aug* 

M^ Yillamaiiata North 


Skirted by fine 
Grassy Rises 

Excellent Maiah 

4 M : to Saltwater 
channel supposed by 
information from natives 
to connect the sea with 
Port PhiUp 

iTHE Surveyor's Note- Book and Report. 


82 W8J 

S 83 E li 

Water hole 
to water hole 
back again to 

to Port Philip to 
Nativea Smoke on the 
beach of Port Philip 
2 men one boy 

In a sketch of the junction of the Leigh and the Barwon occur the 
following noticea — 

^^ 'fl M p *= 








^ OB 

S. 86 W 

Extremity of Corayio Bay (OuUmg) 

commencing at the West 
Wed. 20 Aug* 1886 

Extensive Plains 
lightly timbered 

Beautiful meadows 


in all directions 

Again — 

Lightly wooded 

Qrassy country 


2 m. 
Lake Modewarie 



Soil improyes 

S. 46 W 4 


OS .-Ji^ 

Soil wet and not 
80 good 

M* Moriac 
Fine rich undulating hills 
Qualy of Soil 
much improved 
East 8 M. 
S. 22 W 5 

252 Port Phillip Settlemj:nt. 

Again — 

J S ( Youwan N 26 £ 

# & 4 { Ballarine Hi« S 68 £ 

North i "2^ . ( Barrabul S 20 W 

©a She Oak 

2 of Iramoo N 7 W 

YouwaDg N 20 £ 

Sat. 30 Aug^ 


Fresh Water Hole 

N 15 W 4 Carayio (Geelong) 
Fri. 29 Aug* Corayio 
From Corayio 
M* Annekai Gouwang N 20 W 
M Bunyinyoke N 46 W 

M* Youwang N 12 E 

Arthur's Seat S 17 £ 

Yowwham S 66 W 






fixtensive Plains 

Soil and Grass improves 

S70 £9 

Mon. 1 Sep^ 1886 

In the record we observe these Survey notes : — 

" The foregoing are the bearings and distances by estimation 
of a journey of examination of the Balarine Peninsula, com- 
menced on Wednesday, 13 August, 1835 : — 

" Wed. 13. — Started about 10 A.M., accompanied by Alexander 
Thompson, two Sydney natives (Steward and Bulbalong), and 
two of the Port Philip natives, Joan Joan and Diabering. For 
the first four or five miles it is a low, flat country, soil light and 
sandy, thinly wooded with the Oak, Wattle, and Gum-trees, 
and everywhere good grass prevails. The Ballarine hills then 
commenced. The soil here improves, and becomes a rich loam. 
Small light-wood trees are here intermix'd with the trees 
before mentioned, and the land is everywhere covered with fine 

The Surveyor's Note-Book and Report. 253 

*' Thur. 14. — The same -description of fine, rich hills and 
valleys continued for some distance, till, from the information I 
gathered from the natives that there was no water in the 
direction I was travelling, I deemed it right to go in the 
direction they pointed out, which took us about four miles across 
a low flat land, of not so good a quality, the soil being more of a 
clay, to a deep water hole on the margin of an extensive salt- 
water marsh ; excellent quality of soiL We here had an exten- 
sive view of the country to the west, south-west, and north- 
west, which had the appearance of being a very fine country. 
We here observed the smoke of some natives, which we learned 
was that of the brothers of the lad Joan Joan that was with me. 
We determined to get an interview, and for that purpose pro- 
ceeded in the direction of the smoke — N. 55 W. about 5 m. — 
which brought us again to Port Philip. The natives perceived 
our approach before we saw them, and hailed us. Tney came 
to meet us, leaving their spears, &c., behind them. There were 
only three of them, two men and one boy — Camaooopamoic, 
Culgorine, and Woronudgine. They had been at the encampment 
before, and evinced great satisfaction at meeting with us, when 
they perceived we were friendly towards them, of which they at 
first had some doubts, as on their departure they had received and 
taken away with them an axe stolen by one of the native lads. 
Whether firom fear or joy I cannot tell, but we observed the 
tears run down the face of one of them when we first came to 
them, but he soon became lively, and they took us to their fire, 
and invited us to sit down with them. We made signs to them 
that we wanted to stop the night where there was water." 

For the continuation of the Diary we are referred to pages 
four and five, which are, unfortunately, absent. But another 
journal, of greater interest, appears in pencil, and is called — 
Journey to Eocamine the Country West of iTidented Head, com- 
menced Ticesday, 18 Augt,, 1835. 

There is a slight difficulty about date, as might also be seen in 
the Batman memoranda. At a remote age time was not so well 
observed as in this railway period, and Sunday in the Bush was 
occasionally kept wrongly from dead reckoning. A careless- 
ness about dates is very obvious to the exploring colonial 
historian. The present journey is said to begin on Tuesday, 
18th inst., while the other one, in the Ballarine Peninsula, com- 
menced on Wednesday, l.Sth. The one is made wrong by the 
Survey notes, as Friday is there called 15th August. 

The seven weeks passed by Mr. Wedge are duly noted in this 

254 Port Phillip Settlement. 

historical surveyor s-book. The account can be compared by 
the reader with that given subsequently by the traveller, and 
published in the present volume, as well as with that appearing in 
the Proceedings of the Oeogrwphical Society, The Diary in the 
Note-book was evidently jotted down at the time. One altera- 
tion only is observed. Discovering an error of a day in the 
reckoning, the dates were afterwards reduced a day by the 
pencil, for Tuesday 18th August, was at first written 19th. Ex- 
cepting an occasional and slight change of orthography, Mr. 
Wedge's story is literally copied in the subjoined narrative : — 

'* Tu. 18. — Proceeded in whale-boat to western extremity of 
Port Philip ; arrived about sunset. Extensive open plains to 
the north-west. Country slightly wooded to west of small bay 
(Corayio or Oeelong). 

'* Wed. 19. — ^After travelling over a fine grassy country, 
lightly timbered,^ gradually rising for about two miles and a 
half, bearing S. 85 W., we came to the river Barwoume, a steep 
declivity taking us down to the river. This bank, or hill, if it 
may be so called, is, I imagine, a\^\it 200 ft. high, and from the 
point of which I waa almost lost in astonishment at the vast ex- 
tent of fine grassy plains to the west and north-west that opened 
upon me, extending much further, as Buckley informed me, 
than the eye could reach (especially in a westerly direction), and 
I think I do not overrate the distance in saying that I could see 
forty miles ahead of me. In a south-westerly direction are the 
BarrabuU Hills, along the foot of which the Ri : Worragong flows 
from the westward. Upon the whole, a finer and more exten- 
sive view cannot well be conceived, especially to the eye of a 
sheep farmer. The plains extend equally in a north direction, 
altho' they were hid from my view by a slight eminence. On 
descending the bank I came to the junction of two rivers, the one 
from the west,* and the other from the north-east. (The 
former, and the principal one, I named the Worragong, being 
the native name.) Along the north-east bank of the latter,* as 
far as I could see (about two miles), is a fine rich meadow, from 
a quarter to half a mile in width, between the two rivers. The 
banks are steep, and from 50 to 60 feet in height, the country 
spreading into extensive undulating plains. The river below 
the junction I have also called by the native name Barwoume, 
which, excepting in times of flood, is salt. About a quarter of 
a mile above the confluence are two water-falls. The first and 
smaller of the two I have called the Buckley Falls ; the second 
Banyu Willock, the native name. At this place I crossed to 
the south bank, and continued in the same direction along the 

' The oak, gnm, wattle, and honeysuckle. ' The Yaloke, 

The Surveyor's Note-Book and Report. 255 

course of the river over the foot of the BarrabuU Hills, for about 
5 or 6 miles. These hills afford fine pasturage for sheep, and on 
some of them I found limestone. The land is not of so rich a 
quality as the Bearkmazon (Ballarine) hills. It is remarkable 
that though food everywhere abounds, there are no kangaroo 
about these hills and plains. We saw the tracks of emu, and 
we saw a large flight of ducks, different from any I have before 
met with. Wet night. 

" Thur, 20.— Crossed the BarrabuU Hills, bearing S 22 W 
and S 45 W, to Lake Modewarrie. The hills for the first three 
miles are of the same description — ^grass rather light, and thinly 
wooded with she-oak. The soil from thence to the declivity 
which leads down to the Lake is a rich brown loam, with ex- 
cellent grass. The soil from the declivity is not so good — rather 
wet at this time of the year, and the grass sour. The country 
around the lake is lightly timbered, grassy, with very gentle 
rises, and flats well adapted for sheep feeding. The extent of 
the Lake I estimate at about 1,000 acres. In crossing the hills 
I saw five emus. I fired at and wounded one of them, but it 
escaped. There were numerous ducks on the lake, and a few 

" Friday 21. — For a mile I passed over some lov/ lands to a 
small lagoon on our right, and then passed over some low rises 
to a watercourse, called by the natives Byourac. This was 
more thickly timbered, the gum-trees prevailing. Good grass 
continued up to this place, jihe soil being more tenacious. After 
crossing the watercourse the hills increasing in altitude ; the soil 
and grass not so good. About a mile from the Byourac I came to 
a small patch of land (about 200 acres) of very poor sandy soil, wet, 
producing only that coarse, tufted, wire grass, the only piece of 
really bad land I have passed over in my travels. At about six 
miles a lagoon was on our left hand about a quarter of a mile, 
called by the natives Gall em. From 6 to 9 miles I passed 
through an open forest of Gum-trees and a few Stringybark 
intermixed, and then into a forest composed almost entirely of 
Stringybark trees. At about ten miles we crossed another 
watercourse, running about S 80 E. The country now became 
hilly, the timber rather larger, but still grassy for about four 
miles, when we found the Ironbark-tree Forest which we were in 
search of. It is not in any great quantity, nor are trees very large, 
but these will be sufficient for the purposes of the Company. Wet 

" Sat. 22. — I left Buckley and the natives at our encamp- 
ment, and proceed with Alexr. Todd to ascertain the direction 
and extent of the Ironbark-tree Forest. We foimd that it 
extends to the south-west, and that there will be ample for the 
Establishments intended to be formed. I left the forest, and 


256 PoBT Phillip Settlement. 

travelled about 4 miles S 25 W, over some hills, the soil being 
for the most part of a stiff yellow clay, the trees upon which were 
entirely stunted Stringybark, which brought me to the brink of 
a perpendicular cliff descending to the sea beach. There were 
several points of hills along this part of the beach, running back, 
and forming the tops of the hills along which I had travelled. 
Immediately abutting on the beach the hills and valleys are 
destitute of timber, but from a quarter to half a mile back the 
stunted Stringybark forests commence and appear to prevail for 
some distance. There is little or no brushwood in any of tlie 
forests that I have yet met with ; and grass more or less every- 
where prevails, excepting on the tops of the bare hills alluded to 
above, but not of such a quality as to make the land desirable 
for the grazing of sheep or cattle at present, whatever it may be 
when the more fertile plains be occupied. On returning I 
passed over the same description of country. On the dry chalk 
bills in the vicinity of Ironbark-tree Forest I observed large holes, 
or burrows, about two feet in diameter, and which, upon inquiry, 
I learnt from Buckley were inhabited by a large species of 
Wombat, the native name for which is Ouringore. Buckley 
states it to weigh between one and two hundred pounds. It is 
eaten by the natives, by whom it is highly prized. 

" Sun : 23. — I proceeded upwards along the valley about half 
a mile and then descended, bearing about N. 70 E., one and a 
half to the sea, the land gradually improving about half a mile 
&om the coast. The land is free f^om timber. I now directed 
my course towai^ the crossing place in the Barwum, and in 
about a mile crossed a saltwater creek, and in about three miles 
further another creek, which was parallel with the beach nearly 
two miles, and is the outlet of the water of Biourac rivulet, 
tip to this place there is some fine open grassy plains along the 
coast from a quarter to three quarters of a mile in width — light 
soil, inland grassy rises thinly timbered. Between the Biourac 
and the Barwum to the crossing place of the latter is some fine 
marshes, and land lightly elevated, better adapted for cattle than 
any I have before seen. After crossing the Barwum, which 
took us a little above the knees, I fell in with two families of 
natives, who were very friendly. One of them (Nullaboin, with 
whom Buckley had lived) had never seen a white man before. 
He had heard of a gun, and the effects of it, and was anxious 
to see me let it off. On my preparing to do so, he evinced great 
fear, and requested I would go further off. Buckley told him I 
would not hurt him or any one. He then sat down, and was 
greatly gratified at my hitting a small piece of paper set up as 
a mark. The two families bivouacked about fifty yards from 
each other, and I pitched my tent between them. The whole 
party of natives (eleven) remained sitting round my fire till 

The Surveyor's Note-Book and Report. 257 

about 10 o'clock, when I intimated I wished to go to bed, and 
they instantly retired to their own quarters. They kept up a 
conversation a great part of the night amongst themselves and 
with Buckley. They were anxious to know where I had been, 
and were curious to know why I was walking about the country. 
"Jfon: 24. — After breakfast I took leave of the natives. 
NuUaboin and his wife were sorry at Buckley's leaving them, 
and shed tears on our starting. We took a straight direction 
for, and got home about 3 o'clock, about IS miles." 

The journal now leaves Indented Head, and takes us to the 
site of the future Melbourne, from the Qeelong side. 

" Thur : 27 Au^ — Embarked in whale boat for the two 
rivers at the north extremity of Port Phillip. 

" Boat leaky, and the mast thort gave way — put back in con- 
sequence. Started to prosecute the journey on foot. Proceeded 
about 12 miles to Noandeit. Wet and windy afternoon— very 
cold and windy night. 

*'Fri: 28. — To Caragio {Geelong) about 15 miles to dinner, 
from whence to Keerwir N. 15 W. about 4 miles, over some fine 
grassy flats of a light sandy loam, thinly timbered with Sheoak, 
Gum, and a few Mimosa ; the former prevail. Keerwir is the 
native name for a fresh-water hole at the head of a salt-water 
creek. Above this water hole there is a channel for a water- 
course, but from its appearance I should imagine the water but 
seldom runs excepting after very heavy rains. The country all 
around appears to be admirably adapted for sheep. 

" l^at : 29. — We passed over extensive open plains, a slight 
rise about a mile on our right, for the first six miles, which turn 
to the left and run to the foot of Anikai Yowwham ; at the foot 
of which rise I went for about four miles, intending to ascend 
one of the eminences which form the cluster of hills (Anikai 
Yowwham) ; but learning from the two native youths that were 
with me that there was no water in that direction, I altered my 
course, and passed over a ridge of hills which run from M*. 
Yowwham. Open plains continue nearly to the ridge. They 
are quite destitute of timber, and covered with grass, but not of 
that luxuriance that I should have expected from the soil. The 
hills are thinly timbered, some of the Gum trees fit for the Pit, 
but not in any quantity. I observed two or three Peppermint 
trees, the first I have seen in the country. The soil on these 
hills is light and sandy, well covered with grass, and more 
luxuriant than on the plains. After descending the hills, I 
came to an open plain of a mile or more in length, skirted on 
either side by a light-timbered country. To the north-west 
open plains extend to a great distance, bounded on the west by 



258 Port Phillip Settlement. 

hills from the Anikai Yowwham, from which latter place they 
take a westerly direction, bounding the plains north of the river 
WorragoDg, and from which I should imagine the Yaloke takes 
its rise. After passing over the small plain, I continued about 
two miles over some stony rises, and halted for the night at 
some ponds of water, in a watercourse. Showers during 
the day. 

'^Snin: SO Aug^ — Passed over extensive open grassy plains 
(the grass not luxuriant) for about 10 miles to a dry water- 
course, in an easterly direction, and in about 3 more miles came 
to a rapid river, about 8 yards wide, with a rocky bottom. I 
travelled down the river about a mile to find a crossing place, 
and observed some reaches in the river of deep still water, and 
from 12 to 15 yards in width. The river passes through the 
plains in a deep and harrow channel, and I did not observe any 
appearance of width of valley in its course. The floods rise to 
the height of 20 feet or more, as was indicated by the drift 
wood on its banks. This river I have named the Peel 

''Sepr^ 1835. 

'* Man : 31. — Continued over the same description of country, 
open plams expandmg in aQ directions, the soU and grass in 
better quantity. About the middle of the day's march I came 
upon a channel which receives the waters draining from the 
surrounding plains during heavy rains. It has a muddy bottom, 
and reeds choke up its whole course. It continued in my course 
for about two miles, and then turned suddenly to the southward. 
The water which stands in places is very brackish. 

" About two miles before I came to the head of Port Phillip, 
I crossed a large piece of ground which has the appearance of 
being covered with water in wet weather, and then skirted a 
Sheoak forest which fringes the Bay, and afterwards passed 
through it to a Native's well on the Bay. The soil in the 
narrow belt of the Sheoak is of a light sandy description with 
good grass. On the low land, and in passing through the 
Sheoak trees, I observed the footmai'ks of white men — supposed 
to be those who came and returned in Captii- Harwood's sloop. 
Five emu." 

As the reader conjectures, Mr. Wedge was correct in his sur- 
mising. The expedition of the so-called Fawkner party, without 
Fawkner, had entered the Yarra up to the Falls. The September 
record begins : — 

" Tu : 1 Sep^- — Proceeded along the plains skirting a Sheoak 
forest on my right. Soon after starting crossed a salt-water 
creek, which connects with the lowland mentioned yesterday. 

The Sujivetor's Note-Book and Report. 


The same description of country continues to the river ^ [Yarra 
Yarra), which we made in about ten miles. It is from 25 to 
30 yards wide. Soil darker colour >and of stifTer nature, and of 
better description. The grass better, especially in the Sheoak 
forest. Water salt in the river. Continued across the Plains, 
the river winding on my right from one to two miles, and again 
came upon the river, which I now found to be fresh and excel- 
lent water. The stream was now about sufficient for the pur- 
poses of a com mill, but I imagine scarcely runs in summer (!). 
The immediate banks are steep and nearly perpendicular, and 
from 20 to 30 feet in height, when they again have a steep rise 
from 100 to 150 feet, and then spread out into extensive plains. 
The river has a gravelly bottom. I now crossed it, and pitched 
for the night, intending to cross over to the head of the Salt 
water in the river which flows from the eastward, and forms a 
junction with this river (The junction of the Yarra Yarra and the 
Saltwater river below Melbourne), 

" Wed : 2. — Followed down the east banks of the river to a 
rich marsh, which has a salt-water lagoon in it. The marsh 
{Bati7ian*8 Swamp) is situated between the two rivers, which 
forms a junction, their united waters being discharged into the 
northern extremity of Port Phillip. Continued the same direc- 
tion, S. 60 E. skirting the northern extremity of the Marsh to 
the head of the salt-water in the river flowing from the east- 
ward (Yarra). The rising gi'oimd to the northward of the 
marsh (site of Melbourne) is a fine, rich, grassy country, in- 
tersected by valleys. Gum trees, Sheoak, and Wattles prevail. 
The river (Yarra) is navigable up to this point for vessels of 
fifty tons, and for boats thirty miles upwards or more. The 
fresh water river has a fine copious stream, and is from forty to 
fifty yards in width. The stream is about equal to that of the 
South Esk in Van Diemen's Land. 

" On my arrival at this place (site of Melboum^e) I found an 
encampment formed by the persons connected with Mr. 
Fawkner (Messrs. Lancey, Jackson, Marr, and Evans). Their 
vessel of 55 tons was lying within three yards of the shore, in 
five fathoms water. I communicated verbally to these gentle- 
men that they were within the limits of the land purchased by 
Mr. Batman from the natives ; in reply to which they stated 
their determination to hold possession. They told me that their 
vessel would sail for Launceston the first fair wind, and offered 
to convey anything for me, or to give me a passage. I availed 
myself of the opportunity of writing to Mrs. Darke, Mr. Simpson, 
and Mr. Batman. 

" Thur : 3 Sep^- — I waited on Mr. Lancey and the other 
gentlemen, and, in a conversation with that gentleman, pointed 

^ Navigable for boats as far as the salt water flows. 

S 2 

260 Port Phillip Settlement. 

out the impropriety of any interference with our land, and the - 
unpleasant consequences that would result by their persisting in 
doing so. I took breakfast with them, aiid afterwards spoke 
to the rest of the gentlemen to the same effect. Before 
leaving I informed them by writing (see copy of letter in Note- 
hook) that they were within the limits of our land, and gave 
them a description of the boundaries. I now started, receiving 
from them a small supply of flour, and proceeded N. 10 W. about 
three miles. The ground which I here passed over was of ex- 
cellent quality, and fine grass. The Gum and other trees attain 
a large size, but few of the former are of any utility for building 

** My object being to intersect the tract of land in a trans- 
verse direction, so as to view that portion of it which was not 
seen by Mr. Batman, I altered my direction to a north-west 
course, and crossed the valley leading from the salt-water lagoon, 
and ascended the opposite rising ground, a fine and extensive 
valley spreading on my right. The rising ground continued in 
my course till I crossed the valley leading from the extreme 
eastern bend of the river which I had left in the morning of 
yesterday, which again brought me to the open plains. The 
wooded country, ranging to the northward, and which, judging 
from that portion which I saw, and from Mr. Batman's re- 
port of the northern parts of it, cannot well be surpassed in 
its fitness for agricultural purposes. I now passed over exten- 
sive open plains of better quality than those to the westward, 
and crossed a watercourse in which there was water, but not a 
running stream. At night I came to the river alluded to above, 
the plains continuing of the same description, and, if anything, 
improving in quality. Wet evening. 

" Fri : 4. — Before starting, one of the natives, Diaberung, ex- 
pressed a wish to leave us, to which I assented, giving him a 
note to Mr. H. Batman. (Then at Indented Head.) But the 
other boy not showing any inclination to go, and being told he 
must go by himself, he altered his mind and continued with ua 

** We crossed the river on starting, and continued the same 
course as yesterday, the river winding on our right, and the 
general course being from N. 15 E. After crossing the plains 
for about eight miles, I came upon the river. At this point I 
crossed some three steep and deep hollows with water channels 
in them, but they did not intersect the plains for any distance. 
I terminated my day's journey on the banks of a small stream 
of water at the foot of the range of hills which I had now 
reached. The water ceases to run almost as soon as it is free 
from the hills. About two miles before I reached the foot of 
the range of hills, there was a considerable bare hill close ou 
my right From the foot of the hills I took a west direction for 


Crossing th& J'eel or lieinbie- R 

To face, p. 26} Crossmg the. Fed/ R 

The Surveyob's Note-Book and Report. 261 

about two miles, which brought me to the stream of water 
mentioned above. 

" Sdt : 5. — Travelled over some excellent plains for about four 
miles, the range of grassy hills'On our right, which brought us to 
d ridge of hUIa projecting into the plains. In these hills I 
observed a few Ironbark trees, and a small quantity of useful 
Gums for the pit. After crossing this ridge, I crossed another 
fine valley of no great extent, which again brought me to the 
hills. As they appeared to thicken and become more wooded 
and steep in the direction I was going, I altered my direction 
and pursued a south direction, for the purpose of getting on the 
plains, passing between the hills and a flat forest. I again bore 
more to the westward, through the same forest, to a deep water- 
course, which at times is subject to heavy floods, but at this 
time we only found water at places. After ascending the hills 
for about a mile, I came to an open plain, and directing my 
course south-west for about two miles, I came to a belt of forest 
trees, and in about another mile to the river Peel {Werrihee), 
which I found to be flooded with a strong body of water running 
up to its banks. I almost despaired of finding a crossing place, 
although the river was not very wide, not more than from ten 
to twelve yards ; but, firom the power of the stream, every tree 
had been swept away from time to time as they had fallen across 
the channel. It would have been folly to have attempted to 
swim across with the knapsacks, guns, &c. I, therefore, pro- 
ceeded up stream in search of a tree that we might fall across 
the river to serve as a bridge. After travelling about a mile 
we were fortunate in finding a tree, the roots of which had been 
undermined, which caused it to lean so as the trunk rose about 
the middle of the stream. It was here that I found one of the 
natives (the eldest Diaberung) of great use. Although he and 
the other boy had examined it, and said it was impracticable, I 
suggested that a log might be laid across from the banks to the 
tree. And he immediately took the hint, and set to in real 
earnest to eflFect a passage across, he having before intimated 
that it would be necessary not to delay crossing, for that the 
river would continue to rise for some days, and render it impos- 
sible to cross. Assisted by myself and my man, Alex' Thomp- 
son, and the other native boy, he made a safe bridge to the tree, 
having considerably improved on my suggestion. Having 
effected this, the next thing was to get from the tree to the 
opposite bank ; and this he soon effected by cutting notches in 
the tree to serve for a footing, by which to ascend to a horizontal 
branch about ten feet high, from which we descended by placing 
dead arms of trees against it, on the opposite bank, about knee 
deep in water. (See lilustratioiis.) It was quite dark before we ac- 
complished a passage. During this day's march I shot a wild dog. 




Port Phillip Settlement. 

" Sun : 6 Sep^- — Ascending th^ steep hill immediately from 
the banks of the river, I passed over a small tract of land for 
about 1^ miles, which was a light sandy description, the Honey- 
suckle tree prevailing. I then passed through a forest for about 
six miles to the open plains. There is not much grass in the 
forest. The open plains continued for seven or eight miles 
(up to this place my course was S.W.) which brought me to 
some waterholes in a watercourse. From hence I went in a 
direction S. 10 E. seven miles to another water-hole, the first 
mile of which was an o^en plain, the remainder an open grassy 
forest, some of it but indifferent. A little before stopping I 
crossed my track of the 30th August. Provisions out — hving on 

"Man: 7. — I passed over the same plains described 30th 
August, keeping a little more to the eastward. Halted early to 
enable the party to get roots, and to take the chance of shooting 
some birds. Station Curwee. 

" Tu : 8. — Arrived at encampment. A long day's march." 

After a rest on Indented Heads, arranging for Batman s 

brother to go forward to the more favourable site on the 

-Yarra, where he met the Fawkner party, before the arrival 

of Fawkner himself, Mr. Wedge continues his explorations, 

thus noted in the journal : — 

" Wed : 9.— 

"Thura: 10.— 

"Fri: 11. — Vessel Maryann arrived, bringing Buckley's 

"Sat: 12.— 

"Sun: 13. — ^Embarked on board the Maryann and sailed to 
Yarrow. {This is the fird time in which the river Yarra Yarra 
is mentioned having been named by Mr, Wedge.) 

** Man : 14. — ^Arrived at Yarrow. 

" Tu : 15.— 

"Wed: 16. — H. Batman arrived. 

" Thur : 17.— 

"Fri: 18.— 

"Sat: 19. — Embarked on board the Maryann, 

"Sun: 20. — Sailed, and when off Indented Head put back 
from contrary winds. 


" Tu : 22. — Sailed, and anchored off Balarine hills. 
Wed: 23. — To encampment at Indented Head. 
Thur: 24.— At Indented Head. 

" Fri : 25.— Sailed for Portland Bay. When off Cape Otway 
at night, about 12 o'clock, a contrary and strong wind. 



The Surveyor's Note-Book and Report. 263 

*' Sat : 26. — Laying to in a gale of wind. 

" Sun : 27.— Put back to Port Phillip. 

" Mon : 28. ) 

" Tu: 29. 5~Contrary winds. 

" Wed : 30. j 

" Oct''- 
" Thur: 1. — Sailed again for Portland Bay. 
"jPW: 2. — Becalmed. Contrary wind in afternoon. Put 
back and anchored in a small bay at Flat topped hill. 

" Sat : 3 — Sailed at night — 12 o'clock. At 2 a.m. becalmed. 
10 a.m. beating against head wind. 

"Sun: 4. — 12 at night-^fair wind from the eastward. 
" Man : 5. — Off the Lady Julia Percy I. at 6 a.m. at the 
entrance of Portland Bay. 

Arrived 3 p.m. The Lawrence Is* S. 37 E. 

Lady Julia Percy Is* S. 78 E. 
" Tu : 6.— At Portland Bay. 

" Wed : 7. — Got under way at 12 ajn. for Port Fairy. 
Sailed for Port Fairy | past 2 p.m. 
Large river about 30 m. east of Port Fairy." 

A sketch of the bay there completes the journal. 

Mr. Wedge's sketches, found in this volume, were chiefly 
taken while on the tour mentioned in his journal, as extracted 
from the Note-book of 1835. 

The first half-a-dozen were taken a few days before he started 
for his overland journey. They illustrate the country about 
Indented Head, being views taken when on that peninsula. Port 
Phillip expanded before him on August 13th, while on the 
same day he sketched Station Peak, or Villarmanata, and some 
of his own companions. The Ballarine Hills appear on the 
14th. The encampment on Indented Head, near Port Phillip 
Heads, consisting of dwellings of the whites, and ruder fixtures 
of the blacks, is dated 17th. 

After starting for the longer journey, the first drawing (No. 7), 
on the 20th of August, describes the rolling BarrabuU Hills, 
near Geelong. He gave then a rude figure in the foreground, 
intended to depict Buckley. No. 8 bears no notice. But No. 9 
is of considerable interest, being associated, as Buckley Falls, 
with the celebrated Wild White Man. The Falls are again 
shown in 10, in the sketch of Banga Willock. The next day, 
21st August, gave him the Worrigong River and Barrabull 

264 Port Phillip SETTLEMEkr. - 

Hills. The 12th view is of the same river with the Plains near. 
The 23rd August gives the Heads of Port Phillip (No. 13). 

A change comes in 14, the sketch from nature being an 
episode from native life — the digging for roots by Lubras, 
who are, in this winter time, duly robed in skins, with the bag 
at their backs. In 15 the artist appears looking eastward on 
September 1. On the same day, in 16, the view is northward ; 
but, in 17, bearing east, with the Yowwham Hills on the left. 
The Ballarine Hills and part of the Bay bearing south come 
in 18. This is followed, in 19, with the Magonait watercourse, 
plains, and hills N. 30 E., of same date ; the party are seated, 
beholding the fine landscape. 

Sketches 20 and 21 illustrate that part of the diary describ- 
ing the crossing of the river Peel or Werribee. The same 
river scene is in 22. But 23 and 24 are without explanation. 
A leap to September 17 brings us to 25, the first encampment 
at the river Berrem. This is not very clear as to date, since on 
that day Mr. Wedge was on the Indented Head. In 26 some 
obscurity appears. On the back is written "Barrern, rapids 
of, 18 Sep., 1835.*' But underneath the sketch of wooded hill 
and plain we have these important words — " Near where St. 
James's Cathedral now stands." This is in Mr. Wedge's hand- 
writing, though at a much later date. It is not very easy, 
however, to identify the locality as a part of the Western Hill 
of Melbourne. 

No, 27 is a sunset view near Portland Bay, the entrance to 
which we have in 28. But 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, are particularly 
interesting, from showing the condition of the only settlement 
then existing in the territory of Port Phillip, the estab- 
lishment of Messrs. Henty having been formed there a year 
before Mr. Wedge's visit. The house, the whaling establishment, 
the headland near, the fishing vessels at anchor, and the oil 
depot, have all points of great interest at the present time. 
Port Fairy, now Belfast, had in 34, 35, and 36, only natural 
features to be portrayed. 

Before this voyage to Portland Bay was taken, and of so 
early a date as August 4th, Mr. Wedge made sketches of 
Wilson's Promontory, from Glennie's Island (No. 37), the Cove 
of Glennie's L (38), and Fishing at the Cove (39). A curious 
memorial of Batman's First Huts at Indented Heads (No. 40) 

The Surveyor's Note-Book and Report. 


marks the first buildings erected near Port Phillip, by order of 
John Batman, and reared by the men he left there in June, 
1835. Mr. Wedge s hut, which was erected in 1836, is pictured 
in 41. Two sketches of natives are preserved. One (42) shows 
the propriety of attitude in a native woman. The other, 43, is 
a life-like, though rude, delineation of a native arrayed in a rug. 
It is called Norung Boruck; and attached are these words, 
suggestive of some story — " The bread is all done." 

Lastly, and perhaps the most valuable, there are two portraits 
of Buckley, 44 and 45. These are the earliest sketches of that 
hero of Port Phillip, and were taken just after he revealed him- 
self to the whites on Indented Head. The features are not 
expressive of high intelligence. The nose in 45 did not quite 
satisfy the artist, judging from the attempt to amend it in 
another place. 

The Royal Geographical Society of London, being favoured 
by a communication from Mr. Surveyor Wedge, published an 
interesting account of the country explored by that gentlemat^. 
As the reports from abroad are not always given verbatim, that 
course being often as unnecessary as inconvenient, the text in 
Mr. Wedge's handwriting will be quite satisfactory to our 
readers. This was sent to the author by the worthy surveyor. 
It is written on coarse, large-sized foolscap — the paper of the 
period — and is dated August, 1836. 

The country described is that on the Geelong and Werribee 
side of the Bay, as well as that in the neighbourhood of Mel- 
bourne, and to the north of the settlement. Excepting the refer- 
ence to Buckley, elsewhere found in the present volume, this is 
Mr. Wedge's complete story of his rambles in Port Phillip : — 

" In traversing the interior of the country, my attention was 
directed to that part of it from the northern extremity of the 
port, round to the westward, including Indented Head, and 
embracing about forty miles inland. In describing the country, 
I will take the several parts in the order which I examined 
them. The peninsula of Indented Head first attracted my 
attention ; its extent is about one hundred thousand acres. It 
is bounded on the west by the Barwum, a river pointed out 
to me by Buckley, which empties itself into Bass s Straits, a 
few miles to the westward of Indented Head, and in its course 

f asses within about three miles of the western extremity of 
^ort Phillip. The eastern part of this peninsula for about four 

2ft6 Port Phillip Settlement. 

or five miles from the margin of the port is a lowland flat 
surface, the soil being light and sandy, and well covered with 
grass, thinly wooded with the honeysuckle, the oak, Mimosa, 
and Eucalyptus. The land there swells inte low hills, and 
alternates with beautiful hill and dale. On these hills the soil 
is of finer quality than on the plains, the grass more luxuriant. 
These hills gradually trend to the westward in gentle undula- 
tions, and terminate at the Barwurn, in some places in steep 
banks, varying in height from thirty to sixty feet. It is a great 
misfortune to the peninsula that the river Barwurn is subject to 
the tides, and is consequently salt up to where it is joined by 
another river, about three miles from the western extremity of 
the port, otherwise it would be one of the finest situations for 
sheep-farming I have ever met with. On the peninsula there 
are many small water-holes, which afford the natives a supply 
of water, but it is brackish and of bad quality, although I 
experienced no ill effects from the use of it. 

"At the junction of the rivers above alluded to, the one 
coming from the north-west is called Yaloak ^ by the natives. 
The other coming from the westward T have named the Byron, 
into which about ten or twelve miles up another stream falls, 
which I have named the Leigh ; these rivers pass through very 
extensive open plains, much further than the eye can reach, and 
from Buckley's information, at least one hundred and fifty miles 
to the westward. About fifteen miles in a south-west direction 
from the junction of the Byron with the Yaloak is a lake, called 
by the natives Modewarrie, the intermediate country being 
grassy hills, called by the natives BarrabuU, of moderate eleva- 
tion, thinly covered with the * she oak ' (casuarina) trees, and 
around the lake an undulating grassy country thinly timbered 
to the westward. On approaching the cpast to the southward, the 
country gradually becomes more thickly timbered, and the quality 
of the soil not so good. The coast from hence trends nearly south- 
west to Cape Otway, the country being hilly and thickly wooded, 
and from its appearance I should not deem it fit for agricultural 
pursuits, although it not unfrequently happens that very erro- 
neous ideas are formed by judging of the nature of a country by 
distant observation. Near the northern extremity of the port, 
and about three or four miles from it, two rivers form a junction, 
the one coming from the north, and the other from the eastward^ 
and their united waters are discharged into the port together. 
Both these rivers are navigable for vessels of about ^ sixty tons, 
for five or six miles above the junction. There is a bar at the 
mouth of these rivers which precludes larger vessels from 

* Yaloak is the natiye word for river. 

' My estimate of the size of the vessels that can pass over the bar has proved to 
bo much under rated. 

PUbLl. J' 




^^^0i^4i^^'^'^f*^y'^riz':^r. v^/ 

.'■ ' » .- . '-''-■' 


-w V..»-s*.« 



I^lazns AlfiUs hearing Norffv. 



yowwJuxno HvUs. 

The Surveyor's Note-Book and Report. 267 

entering, but up to the bar vessels of the largest burden can 
approacQ and find secure anchorage. 

" The country between these rivers, extending to the north, 
forty or fifty miles, and to the east, about thirty miles, to a tier 
of mountains, which range from the back of Western Port, in a 
northerly direction, is undulating and intersected with valleys, 
and is moderately wooded, especially to the east and north-east ; 
to the north are open plains. The soil is sandy loam, and is 
generally of good quality, and in some of the valleys very rich. 
The surface is everywhere thickly covered with grass, inter- 
mixed with the rib-grass and other herbs. I think very highly 
of this part of the country, and consider it to be well adapted 
for agricultural pursuits. 

'' It will be desirable to form townships at the head of the 
salt-water on each of these rivers. The river coming from the 
eastward is called by the natives Yarra-yarra. The country 
between the river coming from the northward, and the western 
extremity of the port, and from twenty-five to forty miles inland, 
the country is open, and partakes more of the nature of Downs. 
The whole is thickly covered with a light growth of grass, the soil 
being in general stiff and shallow. About midway there is a 
river (Weiribie Yaloak) falling into the port, which comes from 
the north-west. I do not know whether it is navigable ^ any 
' distance irdand, as I crossed it in the first instance about twelve 
or fourteen miles above its entrance into the port, and in the 
second a considerable deal higher up. At the foot of the range 
of hills which bound the plains on the north-west, about Station 
Point, called by the natives Villa-manata or Youwham, the country 
is wooded, with this exception, and^here and there along the shore 
of the port, and along the course of the river just mentioned, 
the plains are quite open, as much so as the heaths of Cam- 
bridgeshire, and I have no doubt they will become valuable 
sheep stations for breeding flocks, although it is probable they 
are eiSected by the droughts in the dry summers ; but there is 
no country without its disadvantages, and I do not think it will 
be worse, nor indeed so bad in that respect as New South Wales, 
as it is more exposed to the south and westerly winds, from 
which direction the rains come, and, as far as my observations 
went, very heavy dews are prevalent. The country to the north 
and north-west of these plains is broken and hilly,* and I am 
inclined to think, from its appearance, it is extensively adapted 
for pastoral purposes. There is a great deficiency of timber fit 

^ For small boats only for about three miles—there is a bar at its entmnoe into 
the port. 

' in a subsequent journey I penetrated through these hills, and came to an 
extensive open coun^. It is but partially adapted for sheep, being a stiff 
tenacious clay, and consequently very wet in the winter season. Cattle stations, 
howeyer, may be formed. 

- / 

268 Port Phillip Settlement. 

for building and fencing purposes, the want of which will bo 
seriously felt in this part of the country whenever it becomes 
thickly inhabited. On the whole, I think favourably of the 
country for the general purposes of colonization. 

" During all my wanderings in Van Diemen's Land I never 
fell in with an emu in its wild state ; this pleasure was reserved 
till my recent visit to Port Phillip. I saw them on several occa- 
sions, altogether about twenty in number. I had not before a 
conception of the stateliness and grandeur of these birds. There 
are not many kangaroo in that portion of the country which I 
examined, but those I did fall in with are the largest I have 
ever seen ; they are very swift of foot. There are large birds of 
the crane kind, and the wild goose, quails, black swans, wild 
ducks, and teal in abundance, and are all, with the exception of 
the quails, very wild and diflScult to get at. There are wild 
native dogs, which appear to me to be a kind of small wolf, and 
I fear great watchfulness will be necessary to protect the sheep 
from their depredations. There is also an animal which, from 
Buckley's description, I imagine to be a species of wombat. 
The holes which it inhabits are large enough for a moderate 
sized boy to creep in at their entrance, and I should suppose 
&om his description that it weighs from one hundred and fifty to 
two hundred pounds. The natives are very fond of this animal, 
and take great trouble to dig them out of their holes, to accom* 
plish which they make one of their little boys go in with their 
feet first, driving the animal forward, till it can get no further, 
he then knocks at the roof of the burrow, which guides those on 
the outside in digging down to the animal, which labour they 
accomplish with pointed sticks. They are superstitious in 
believing, that should the boy open his eyes whilst he is under 
ground, he will not come out again alive." 

"The Natives of Port Phillip. 

" On landing at Port Phillip, on the 7th of August, 1835, at 
the encampment of the pauiiy — three white men and some Sydney 
natives, left for the purpose of maintaining the friendly inter- 
course which had been established with the aborigines of that 
part of New Holland — I found seven families of the natives 
residing in their huts around the encampment. The greater 
part of them were absent at the time on a hunting excursion ; 
but a boy came down with the white men to welcome us on our 
arrival. An old man (Pewitt) and his two wives were at the 
huts, together with some young girls who had been promised in 
marriage to the Sydney natives left by Mr. Batman. I soon 
learnt that the most friendly understanding existed with the 
natives ; indeed, I scarcely needed this information, for it was 
evident from the light-hearted playfulness of the boy, the 

The Surveyor's Note-Book and Report. 269 

•cheerfulness of the old man, and the vivacious loquacity of the 
females, who came and shook bands with me on my arrival. 
They were evidently anxious to inform me by signs that the 
families who inhabited the several huts were out hunting, and 
that they would come home in the evening. 

" On the return of the various families, with the game which 
they had obtained during the day, the members severally wel- 
comed me by a shake of the hand. The only married female of 
our party (Mrs. H. Batman), and her four little daughters, with 
whom the natives were much delighted, particularly attracted 
their attention. Although they brought home with them plenty 
of provisions, consisting of various edible roots, kangaroo, bats, 
and calkiet (the young ants, in a fly state, taken from decayed 
hollow trees), they soon began to importune us for bread and 
other things, not excepting the cutlery. From this I inferred 
at once that, to satisfy their newly-acquired appetite for our 
food and other things which we brought with us, such as knives, 
tomahawks, and blankets, was a sure way of conciliating them. 
In this conclusion at which I thus arrived I was fully confirmed 
by Buckley, who on every occasion evinced the greatest desire 
to be of use whenever he had it in his power to do so, and who 
gave me a general outline of the characters of the different 
natives as they arrived, one of whom (Murradonna-nuke),^ he 
pointed out as being more to be dreaded, on account of his 
treachery, than any of the other chiefs. 

" As one of the main objects I had in view, besides examining 
the country, was to make myself acquainted with the habits 
and dispositions of the natives, I devoted the first few days 
after my arrival to studying their characters. For this purpose I 
went out hunting with them daily, and spent the greater part 
of my time amongst them. I soon satisfied myself that by a 
little tact and management, there was no danger to be appre- 
hended from them ; although I learnt from Buckley, that in the 
treatment of each other they were treacherous. To command 
their respect. I fptind it was necessary to make them fuUy 
understand that it was in our power, not only to minister to 
their wants and comforts, but amply to avenge any outrage. In 
impressing them with this idea, Buckley was of great use to ttie, 
by making known to them the ample means we had of furnish- 
ing them with food, blankets, &c., and explaining the object 
which we had in view in settling amongst them, and our desire 
to be on friendly terms with them, which was mainly compassed 
by evincing a confidence devoid of fear in our deportment 
towards them, and by abstaining from any act which might lead 
them to doubt the sincerity of our intentions, 

^ I deemed it policy to pay court to tliis man; he formed a great attach- 
ment for me. 

270 Port Phillip Settlement. 

" I learnt from Buckley that they were cannibals. His state- 
ment on this head Avas confirmed by the two youths who 
attached themselves to me during my stay in New Holland^ and 
who accompanied me on several excursions I made into the 
interior ; but they do not seem to indulge in this horrible pro- 
pensity, except when the tribes are at war with each other, 
when the bodies of those who are killed are roasted, and their 
bones are infallibly picked by the teeth of their enemy. Of this 
custom they make no secret, and on being questioned, speak of 
it as a matter of course, and describe the mode of preparing 
their victim for the repast. Disgusting as is this practice, the 
process of which is too revolting to commit to paper, a still 
more horrible one, if possible, prevails, that of destroying their 
infant at its birth. The cause by which they appear to be 
influenced, is the custom they have of nursing their children till 
they are three or four years old. To get lid, therefore, of the 
trouble and inconvenience of finding sustenance for two, should 
the second be bom before the eldest is weaned, they destroy the 
youngest immediately after it is born. Although this explana- 
tion was given me by Buckley — and I have no doubt this is in 
most instances the cause — yet some women perpetrate the 
murder of their infants from mere wantonness, and, as it would 
seem to us, a total absence of that maternal feeling which is 
found even in the brute creation. One woman in particular 
(the wife I think of MuUamboid) was pointed out to me, who 
had destroyed ten out of eleven of her children, one of whom 
she killed a few days previous to my arrival at the port. Not- 
withstanding the increase of the tribes is thus kept down, 
polygamy is common amongst them ; few of the men have less 
than two wives, and some of them four or five. 

" The women, as is the cajse with most savages, are quite 
subifervient to the men, and are kept in excellent discipline; 
chastisement promptly follows the least offence, and a fire-stick 
is not unfrequently the instrument of correction. The wealth 
of the men may be said to consist in the number of their 
wives— for their chief employment is in procuring food for 
their lords. On one occasion I was witness to a scene that 
afforded me some amusement, although it was no fun to the 
poor women concerned. My attention was attracted by the 
outcry of the women who were receiving chastisemeot from 
their husband (Murradonanuke), who was punishing them by 
throwing fire-sticks at them in the most furious manner. On 
inquiring, I learnt that the cause of offence arose from the poor 
creatures not having brought home that evening a quantity of 
provisions sufficient to satisfy his insatiable appetite. 

" In the regulations which prevail respecting their wives, they 
have one which seems to have some connection with, or similar 

The Surveyob's Note-Book and Report. 


to, the Mosaic law. On the death of the husband, his wives 
become the property of the eldest of his brothers, or his next 
a-kin. The men are jealous of their wives, and should any 
intrigue be discovered, it would probably lead to the death of 
one or both of the ojffending parties. Although, if the husband 
receives what he considers to be an adequate compensation, he 
is accommodating to his friends. I do not believe infidelity is 
frequent amongst the women, unless sanctioned by the husband. 
During the whole time I was among them, I never observed 
any advances or levity of conduct on their part, although it 
is not at all improbable that they are restrained by fear of 
consequences should they be detected. 

" In bestowing daughters for wives, they' are frequently pro- 
mised as soon as they are born, and on these occasions the 
parents receive presents of food, opossum, and kangaroo nigs, 
clubs, spears, &c., from the person to whom she is betrothed ; 
and this arrangement is considered to be binding, although it 
sometimes happens that these promises are broken by the 
parents, especially when the man, who has received the promise, 
belongs to another and distant tribe. When this occurs it 
creates a feeling of enmity, and it is not unfrequently taken up 
by the whole tribe, who make common cause with the aggrieved 
party. If they once determine on being revenged, they never 
lose sight of their object till they have satisfied themselves by a 
general conflict with the tribe to whom the offending party 
belongs ; or it sometimes happens that the poor girl and her 
husband are singled out, and in the dead of the night the spear 
gives both a passport to the land whose inhabitants live without 

** The men are prohibited from looking at the mother of the 
girls promised them in marriage. This singular custom is 
observed with the strictest caution. On passing the huts of the 
mother-in-law, or any place where they suppose her to be, they 
carefully turn their heads away, and evince great concern if 
by any chance they should see her ; although I am not aware 
of any penalty being attached to the ofifence, save that of dis- 
pleasing the parents. On meeting with NuUaboin and his 
family I took notice that a young girl, just married, carefully 
avoided looking at a particular man, for what reason I oannot 
divine, unless it was that the old man had been promised her 
first daughter. 

'* From inquiries which I made on the subject, I am induced 
to believe that a feeling of enmity does not permanently exist 
among the tribes — as it is terminated by a general battle-royal, 
something after the style of an Irish fair. A short time previous 
to my departure, a few men, with their wives from an adjoining 
tribe, came to that amongst whom I was living, with an invita- 

272 PoKT Phillip' Settlement. 

tion to join them in a conflict which they meditated with an 
adjoining tribe. They sent two or three young men to a tribe 
to the westward, inviting them also to join them on the occa- 
sion. I learnt that this hostile feeling had been created by a 
man having lost one of his eyes in a scu£9e with a man belonging 
to the Western Port tribe. This incident happened, about 
eight months previously, and although the party who now 
sought to avenge himself was the aggressor, having wounded 
his antagonist with a spear, he nevertheless determined on 
having satis&ction, and had succeeded in inducing his own 
tribe, and that with which I was living, and probably would 
influence the other also, to whom an embassy of young men had 
been despatched to the westward, to espouse the cause of his 
odd eye. They also gave an invitation to the seven Sydney 
natives to join them with their guns. This of course 1 dis- 
couraged, and I was not without hopes that they might be 
induced, through the influence of Buckley, to forego their 
intention of taking their revenge — although, from what he said, 
I concluded there was not much chance of such a result. 
Buckley said that the time of their meeting was very uncertain, 
that it might happen in a week or two, or it might be put off 
some months ; but that the collision was almost certain to take 
place sooner or later. In these conflicts it does not often happen 
that many lives are lost — seldom more than one or two. 
Frequently all return from the place alive, and no other 
mischief done than an eye less, a head broken, or an impression 
made upon their coatless backs by a club or spear, so expert are 
they in avoiding the missiles of their opponents. All feeling of 
hostility ceases with the battle, and cordiality again prevails till 
it is interrupted by the impulse of their feelings, which are 
extremely sensitive ; in fact they are nearly as pugnacious as 
though their birth-place had been the Green Island. 

'* Like all others uncivilized, and in a state of nature, they 
are astonishingly dexterous in the use of their weapons em- 
ployed by them in the defence of their persons, and in procuring 
food — and in tracking each other, as well as kangaroo and other 
animals, they are very expert. The most trifling disarrange- 
ment of the grass, a broken twig, or the slightest thing which 
indicates the direction of the object of pursuit, is at once 
perceived by them, and they follow the track with ease at a 
brisk pace. On several occasions I witnessed their adroitness in 
this respect. In fact, their perceptions in seeing, hearing, and 
smelling are surprisingly acute; and in the pursuit of their 
game they evince the patient perseverance so peculiar to man 
living in a state of nature. 

^' Their food consists principally of kangaroo and other animals 
—fish, and roots of various sorts, black swans, ducks, and many 

The Survetor*s Note-Book and Report. 278 

other birds — ^in fact, there is scarcely any animal or bird which 
comes amiss to them, and many reptiles, amongst others a 
species of snake, comes within their bill of fare. . In their 
appetites they are quite ravenous, and the quantity they 
devour at one meal would astonish even a London alderman, 
although they are not quite so fastidious in the quality of their 

" I could not learn that they have any religious observances ; 
and, indeed, from the information I gathered from Buckley, I am 
led to believe they have no idea whatever of a Supreme Being ; 
although it is somewhat difficult to reconcile the fact of their 
believing in a future state, for they certainly entertain the idea 
that after death they again exist, being transformed into white 
men. This is obviously a new idea since they have become 
acquainted with us, and is an evidence that the friendly inter- 
course we have established with them will, by degrees, operate 
upon their minds, and gradually work an amelioration of their 
condition. Of this being ultimately effected, I entertain very 
sanguine expectations ; and I think I am warranted in doing so 
by the result of the experiments I made to induce them to 
habits of industry whilst residing amonffst them. The men, on 
several occasions, rendered assistance m carrying sods for the 
erection of our huts, and many of the women were almost con- 
stantly employed in making baskets during the last week or 
ten days previous to my departure. In repayment for these and 
other services, bread was given them on the completion of their 
tasks, with which they were well satisfied ; and I have but little 
doubt, if proper arrangements were made, and attention paid, that 
great progress might be made in a short time towards establishing 
more civilized habits. 

" Their whole time may be said to be devoted to procuring 
food during the day. AU their thoughts seem to te directed 
towards ministering to their appetites. The women are the 
drudges of their husbands, and are seldom idle during the day, 
being for the most part employed, either in getting the various 
edible roots, with which the country abounds, or in making 
baskets and nets, and any other occupation directed by their 
husbands. Their habitations are of the most rude and simple 
construction, the materials of which they are made being the 
branches of trees, laid with tolerable compactness, and pitched 
at an angle of about forty-five degrees. In shape they form a 
segment of a circle, and their size is in proportion to the number 
of inmates of which the fiamily is composed.'' 

Mr. Wedge had the honour of naming the river flowing by 
Melbourne. Mr. Gnmer, however, doubts the correctness of the 
appellation Tarra Yarra ! saying, " Probably Mr. "Wedge may 


274 Port Phillip Settlement. 

have mistaken these words for Yanna Yanna ! which means — 
It runs, it goes, or it JUnosy 

The Mwp prepared by Mr. Wedge in 1835, is a very curious 
illustration of the Port Phillip story, and has but few names in 
addition to those appearing in Mr. Batman's map. 

The coast outline is fairly correct. The interior is but rudely 
indicated, and will not bear comparison with a modem map 
of the colony. The mountains are but approximately delineated. 
The Low Hills are those from which the Werribee, Saltwater, 
and Plenty rivers descend, and have certainly no mean elevation, 
some points mounting higher than any peaks in Old England. 
Some hills to the northward, towering sentinels posted in front 
of the Gipps-Land ranges, are put down as " probably Mount 
Disappointment of Messrs. Hume and Hovell." The Mount 
Dromedary stands about the site of our Mount Macedon. 
Arthur's Seat and Station Peak, or Vilumanata, are copied from 
Flinders' s chart. Ballarina Hills are those of Bellerine ; and we 
have changed the spelling of Barrdbull Hills. But the pretty 
granitic pile passed on the way from Melbourne to Geelong, now 
known as the Yow Yangs, was then written Yowham Hills and 

The names of the western streams have suflfered a change ; 
as Marahdl to Moordbool, Burwan to Barwon, and Wearily to 
Werribee, though that appellation is now transferred to the 
more south-western river. The Yarra Yarra was then known 
only a dozen miles above Melbourne, but its course, as learned 
from the natives, is fairly laid down. Corayio, by the Bay of 
Geelong, has become the town of Geelong, as Gellibrand's Point, 
changed from a projection lower down, has developed into 
Williamstown. The open western plains appear to have been 
known for fifty miles from Geelong. The T^ick forest of Iron- 
hark shows the entrance to the dense woodlands of Cape Otway 

But the especial interest of the Map lies in the allotments 
appropriated by the members of the Association. These gentle- 
men have their several selections therein given. 

The whole territory assumed to have been purchased from 
the tribes of Dutigalla or Port Phillip is bounded on the north 
by the Plenty ranges, on the east by a line running north-east 
from the Yarra Settlement, on the south by Port Phillip Bay, 

The Surveyor's Note-Book and Report. 275 

and on the west by a line running north-east, from the Barwon, 
by Geelong, across the Werribee plains to the Saltwater river 
sources. The northern boundary would be nearly forty miles ; 
the eastern, about as much ; and the western, nearly sixty 
miles. There are individual Eun$ now, both in New South 
Wales and Queensland, whose extent would be much greater 
than the area which satisfied the Van Diemen's Land proprietary, 
with the whole country unoccupied before them. 

As was quite proper, the lion's share was taken by the enter- 
prising leader, Mr. Batman. It comprised in No. 9, all the 
region north and west of the Yarra, to the Saltwater river west- 
ward, and some fifteen miles northward of Melbourne. Had 
possession been obtained and retained, the Batman family would 
have been now drawing a princely revenue indeed. The second 
in command, Mr. Wedge, was content, in 13, with what is south 
of Williamstown, and included part of the broad Werribee plains. 

Captain Swanston chose a fine block of volcanic country, 
rich in grass. No. 1, at the foot of the northern hills. His 
firiend, Major Mercer, had the adjoining lot, 2. The two remain- 
ing northern sections, 3 and 4, were reserved. Mr. Sams, SheriflE 
of Launceston, had his, 5, to the south of the Hobart Town 
banker, having Mr. Solomon, 6, for an eastern neighbour, and, 
further east, 7, Captain Bannister. Oddly enough, the portion 
of Governor Arthur's nephew is put across the Yarra, No. 8, 
l3ut outside the assumed eastern boundary. Mr. Cotterell, in 10, 
took up a pretty region, west of the Saltwater, with Mr. CoUicott 
at 11, as a southern neighbour, and Mr. Batman as an eastern 
one. Mr. Qellibrand, though the legal guide to the Association, 
only appears as owner of 12, around Mr. Cotterell. One of the 
fairest spots of the colony. No. 14, near Station Peak, was 
appropriated by Mr. Simpson; 15, north of Geelong, by Mr 
Connelly ; 16, south and west of Geelong, by Mr. Bobertson 
afterwards of Colac ; and 17, Indented Head, by Mr. Sinclair. 

Though the Association could not be permitted to grasp this 
magnificent country, the members thereof generally took up 
portions of Port Phillip as squatting Runs, and most of them 
in the very localities thus marked as selected originally by 

A map, published by Arrowsmith, in 1837, gives a river 
flowing southward to Hobson's Bay as Ardnell River, now the 

T 2 

276 Port Phillip Settlement. 

Saltwater, joining the Yarra, near Melbourne. A small urir 
named creek, coming from the east, is the Yarra Yarra. Across 
the Exe and Ardnell are written these words — " Eartensive and 
beautiful Downs called Iramoo by the natives." The tract 
across from the Murray, by Hume and Hovell, is indicated by 
the names of Hume, Ovens, and Govlhui^ rivers. Main range, 
and Mount Disappointment, Very little appears near the coast 
from Portland Bay to Cape Otway, except Peaked Hill, 

On a map ordered to be printed, July 14th, 1837, Hume and 
Hovell's tract is marked, and nothing else but JExe Stream, 
Ardnell Stream, Bland's Plains, between those rivers, Indented 
Head, Point Kepean, Arthur's Seat, and Gape Shanks. In another 
map, ordered to be printed for national surveys in 1837, we have 
the Ardnell, and Exe, Mount VUaumamartar, and the Black 
Mountains, behind the Gipps Land Beach. 

The survey by Tyers and Townsend, dated February, 1840, 
was between Melbourne and the Werribee, then W.N.W. to 
Buninyong, W. to Lake Boloke and Sturgeon, W.S.W. to the 
head of Stokes river, S. to Portland, and W. to the mouth of the 
Glenelg. After this, E. from Portland, along the coast to near 
Warrnambool. They went, also, by Geelong, N. of Corangamite 
to Mount Elephant, and onward to Shadwell, Mount Rouse, 
Napier, &c. A map of Port Phillip was published by Clint of ' 
Sydney, as early as August, 1836. 

Captain Vetch, in 1837, proposed that all the country from 
longitude 141"* to the sea, and from latitude SO"* to the sea south- 
ward, should be called Guelphia ; but that what we recognise 
now as part of South Australia — from longitude 141° to 130^^ 
and from latitude 24"* to the sea — should be Flinders Land. Dr. 
Lang afterwards wrote in favour of the southern province of 
New South Wales, then Port Phillip, being named PhUlipsland. 

The Charter of the South Australian Association led Governor 
Bourke to tell Lord Glenelg, September 15, 1836, that though 
he found by the Act legalizing the private colony that they 
" had authority to occupy a large portion of the territory placed 
by His Majesty under the Government of New South Wales," 
he had heard nothing of the circumstances from Downing Street. 
He told his Lordship that the " part of Port Phillip, called 
Oeelong, which will probably be used as the harbour, is not 
above a hundred miles distant from the 142nd degree of east 

[thenew yorkI 


The Surveyor's Note-Book and Report. 277 



longitude, which forms the eastern boundary of that Company's 
grant." He who had held so stoutly for his territorial rights, 
when contending with the Port Phillip Association, now saw his 
domain cut into by another private but incorporated organiza- 
tion, when sanctioned by the Home Government. 

Mr. Wedge bears so honourable a position in the early history of 
Port Phillip, and is so trustworthy an authority, that his ex- 

_ ploration ideas, as given by him to the author in 1866, wiU now 

^ be acceptable to the reader : — 

S4L I "JSIy recollection," writes he, "of the project of Batman and 

myself crossing the AustraHan Continent is fresh in my mind. 

rWe became acquainted with each other in the latter part of 
1824, or beginning of 1825, on the occasion of my marking oflF 
his grants of land on the Ben Lomond Rivulet. 

" The subject of an exploring expedition into the interior of 
New Holland was then mooted, and its practicability discussed ; 
and we seldom, if ever, met afterwards without adverting to the 
subject. But it was not till some little time before we accom- 
panied Sir George Arthur to George's Bay on the east coast, in 
1831, that we determined on the plan of eflfecting our object. 
Our idea was to take three or four white men (Batman's 
servants, on whom he said he could depend) and some Sydney 
Z. natives, and go by sea to the Gulph of Carpentaria, and to 

^ ' travel overland from there to Sydney. Our motive for adopting 

this course was, that the Sydney natives would not be so likely 
to leave us, as if we commenced our journey from Sydney, the 
more especially as we should be in a portion of the country 
occupied by tribes with which they were unacquainted, and 
amongst whom they would be afraid to risk themselves without 
the protection of white men. The reason why we proposed 
taking them was that, in the event of our provisions failing, we 
might avail ourselves of their forest habits and skill in procuring 

" We mentioned our scheme to Sir George Arthur one evening 

ill my tent, which was pitched at Falmouth. Sir George 

entered warmly into the plan, and said he would submit the 

proposal to the Secretary of State, and recommend that our 

services should be accepted. Lieutenant Darling was of the 

party who had previously expressed a wish to join us ; he then 

volunteered to go with us. We naturally expected to hear the 

result of Sir George's communication in due course ; but, after 

waiting about a year, either Batman or myself, I forget which, 

_ spoke to him on the subject, and to our surprise, and no little 

I disappointment, we learnt that he had never written on the 

|1 subject. Why or wherefore I never could understand. 


278 Port Phillip Settlement. 

** It may not be out of place to mention that I afterwards, 
whilst I was in England, had serious thoughts of embarking in 
an exploring expedition on my return to the colony. But my 
scheme for carrying it out was different from the former one. 
My intention was to depend chiefly for food on a good-sized 
herd of goats, which I believed would browse and live on shrubs 
where other animals would starve. My plan was not to tie 
myself to time, and never to leave water till, by examining the 
country round about, I found a supply elsewhere. I still believe 
this, with a sufficient party to protect from hostile natives, 
would be the safest mode to adopt in penetrating the unknown 
wilds of Australia." 

In a previous letter to the author, addressed from Leighland, 
near Perth (V. D. L.), February 23rd, 1866, he refers to the 
circumstance of his planning an expedition, with John Batman, 
about 1825. " So in earnest," said he, " were we on the subject, 
that Mr. Batman, jointly with Mr. Gellibrand, to whom he had 
communicated his views, addressed a letter to the Colonial 
Government of New South Wales, asking permission to occupy 
land at Port Phillip, on condition of their sending to that place 
stock to the value of 5,000Z." Then comes the story of Batman's 
visit : — 

" Mr. Batman and myself then fell back upon our original 
scheme, and determined to carry it out as a private enterprise. 
Soon after this Mr. Batman communicated the project to the 
iate Mr. Gellibrand, Captain Swanston, and others, who took 
the matter up warmly, and joined in an Association for carrying 
it out. The plan Mr. Batman and myself had arranged, founded 
on information we had obtained from parties who had been 
there, was to land at Portland Bay, and to examine the interior 
from thence ; but we were induced to abandon this idea from 
fresh information obtained by Mr. Batman, in reference to the 
country around Port Phillip, about the beginning of May. 

" He landed and traversed the country hastily, in the vicinity 
of Station Peak, where he fell in with some natives. He after- 
wards explored up the banks of the Saltwater river, from 
thence to the eastward to the head of the Moona Ponds ; pro- 
ceeding north and north-east from thence, till he fell in with the 
Jigga Jigga tribe of natives, and then returned to the marsh or 
swamp, near the present site of Melbourne, and joined his 
vessel, which had waited for him at or near to Williams Town. 

" Mi, Batman's report of the coimtry was such as to confirm 
the Association in their determination to send over stock, and 
take possession of the country ; but, before doing so, it was 

The Surveyob's Note-Book and Report. 279 

deemed desirable that a more extended examination of the 
country should be made, and I undertook to accompUsh it. To 
enable me to do so, I applied for a short leave of absence : upon 
which being denied, I resigned my appointment, and embarked 
and sailed from George Town, about the 18th July, 1835. I 
landed on Indented Head, and joined the party Mr. Batman 
had left there to form an establishment, and to keep up a com- 
munication with the natives. I may here mention that William 
Buckley, who had resided thirty-two years with the natives, had 
joined the party a few days prior to my arrival, and we were 
indebted to him for the friendly feeling that was maintained 
with them. 

"The last journey I made was for the express purpose of 
ascertaining where the principal rivers discharged themselves 
into Port Phillip, with the view to determine the most eligible 
site for a permanent estabUshment. It was with no little surprise 
on arriving at the place where Melbourne now stands, that I 
observed in the basin, just below where the Prince of Wales' 
Bridge spans the Yarra Yarra with its noble arch, a vessel 
quietly and securely moored. The sight was so unexpected, 
that at the moment I fancied that I had come upon an unknown 
settlement ; and it was with no little interest and anxiety that 
I advanced to introduce myself to the party in charge of the 
craft. It turned out to be a vessel (I believe the Enterprise) 
belonging to Mr. Fawkner, which he had sent thither in charge 
of Mr. Lancey, to form an estabUshment, on the strength of Mr. 
Batman's favourable report of the country. 

" She had crept into the Port, and proceeded up the Yarra 
Yarra, unobserved either by the party left at Indented Head by 
Mr. Batman, or by the tribe of natives who were also encamped 
with them. The ErUerprise (if that was her name) was certainly 
the first vessel that had ever worked her way up to where the 
Queen's Wharf has since been built. It was on this occasion I 
gave the river the name of ' Yarra Yarra,' from the following 
circumstance : — On arriving in sight of the river, the two natives 
who were with me, pointing to the river, called out, ' Yarra 
Yarra ! ' which, at the time, I imagined to be its name ; but I 
afterwards learnt that the words were what they used to desig- 
nate a waterfall, as they afterwards gave the same designation 
to a small fall in the river Weiribie, as we crossed it on our way 
back to Indented Head. 

" On my return to my head-quarters, I immediately broke up 
the establishment, and removed it to the north bank of the 
Yarra Yarra, and encamped, if not at the very place^ not far 
from where St. James's Cathedral now stands." 



As John Fascoe Fawkner divides with John Batman the 
honour of founding Melbourne, and as he continued for so many 
years a leading figure in the history of that city, some account 
of his career before arrival at Port Phillip in 1835, may enable 
the reader to understand the man and his mission. Not con- 
fining himself to the narratives given by contemporaries of 
Mr. Fawkner, the historian has obtained some interesting facts 
from the press of Van Diemen's Land to elucidate the subject. 

First, as to his name ; he was only known as John Fawkner 
up to the time, at least, of his appearance in Port Phillip. In an 
advertisement placed in the Launceston paper three months 
before he came to the Melbourne side, and in the advertisement 
of the sailing of the Enterprise, August, 1835, he simply signs 
himself, as in all other cases for years before, John Fawkner, 
Jun. The difference in the spelling of his name, as evident in 
those early chronicles, is not a little curious. In the first notice 
of the man, in the Hobart Town Gazette of May 21st, 1814, the 
name is FdUcner ; but, though once or twice Faulkner, Falkener, 
or Fallkner, it is usually Fawkner, In all newspaper records 
he is always J. Fawkner, Junr,, or John Fawkner, Jv/nr., or 
simply John, Fawkner. His father is in every instance styled 
John Fawkner, 8enr. 

He was accustomed to speak of himself as the " original settler 
of Port Phillip." This was in allusion to the fact that he landed 
there in October, 1803, when an attempt was made to form a 
convict colony within the Heads of the Port Phillip Bay, but 
which was removed in three months to the river Derwent. He 
was then a boy of about ten years of age. 


- -1 

U i- 

Life of Mb. Fawkner before 1835. 281 

Mr. Fawkner, Senr., known to the author some forty years 
ago, was exiled to the Southern Hemisphere, in 1803, on account 
of the purchase of a box of jewellery on terms that were then 
regarded as too favourable to himself. Established in Hobart 
Town, he succeeded in securing a competency, and lived, at the 
time of the author s knowledge of him, in a pretty cottage on 
the north side of Macquarie Street. His appearance, in Hessian 
boots andj old-style breeches, made him conspicuous when 
abroad. He ultimately settled down a steady, respectable man, 
and passed his latter days in peace. 

He was one of the few favoured ones permitted to take out 
his wife and family with him ; a fact which speaks well for the 
estimation in which he or his wife was held by the London 

Mrs. Fawkner, Senr., had many trials to bear with both 
husband and son. Her own character was above all reproach. 
An old Hobart Town resident, Mrs. Bateman, informed the 
author that Mrs. Fawkner was a very active and agreeable 
woman, with a fine figure and some refinement of manner. 
She was impelled by duty, as she believed, to accompany her 
husband under such unfortunate circumstances. Her daughter 
Betsy married Mr. Lucas of Bruni, previously a Norfolk Island 
settler, by whom she had a numerous and a respectable family. 

The son, the hero of our story, bom in London, August 20th, 
1792, betrayed in youth the restless energy and impetuous 
ardour which distinguished him as a man. The early days of 
no colony are favourable to youth, who have to endure the 
hardships which their pioneer parents are called on to experience, 
and who seldom are favoured with those scholastic and religious 
advantages which exercise so favourable an influence upon 
character. A convict settlement in the early days was especially 
unfavourable to the morals of young persons. As a lad, there- 
fore, John Fawkner could not obtain satisfactory associates, and 
he suffered sadly from the early withdrawal of maternal counsels. 
He had but just arrived at manhood when public attention was 
directed to him in the Hobart Town official Gazette. That 
paper, dated May 21st, 1814, had this proclamation : — 

" The following prisoners have made their escape in a boat : 
Antonio Martineo, Fortescode Santo, Patrick McCabe, Vissanso 

p- _ 

282 Port Phillip Settlement. 

Boucherie, Antonio Janio, Montrose Johnson, William Green, 
John Falkner, junior, Freeman, having aided and assisted the 
said persons in making their escape, and also accompanied 

Though no great crime, it was more than an indiscretion, and 
subjected the young man to a severe chastisement ; but it was 
sheer vindictive cruelty to make part of the flogging to take 
place before his father's door. Fifteen years after, when owner 
of the Launceston newspaper, he had the following paragraph : 
— " Arrived on Friday evening, at the Launceston Gaol, James 
Gordon, Esq., our new Police Magistrate. We decline making 
any observations at present upon his appointment We hope 
the early tortunng days are gone by never to return." The 
author has heard Mr. Fawkner say that it was an ardent love 
of liberty, and personal attachment to one of these Portuguese 
prisoners, that led him into that foolish act. 

But he rightly enough denied the charge, sometimes pre- 
ferred, of convictism. Though that transaction of 1814 was not 
the only questionable one which brought him under magisterial 
censure, as the colonial Gazette certifies, yet it may well be 
wondered that so restless a spirit, in an age of both corruption 
and severity, escaped so well. It must be remembered that he 
was just the man to make enemies, as much by his combative- 
ness as by his disregard of appearances, and that the worst 
interpretations have been uniformly put upon some portions 
of his career by those who incurred his ill will, or suffered 
from the virulence of his attack. Old Hands have many a 
spicy story, which the author has heard in the olden times, 
reflecting upon the man; but such tales were less matters of 
fact than creations of wit, when they did not bear the evidence 
of inventive malice or of slanderous hate. He certainly laid 
himself open to many a rude charge by his eagerness to tilt 
against all comers. The active and avowed friend of the 
emancipist class in Van Die mens Land, dealing heavy and 
repeated blows upon officialdom and the reputed respectable 
class in the island, he could not fail to draw upon himself the 
shaft of ridicule and the glance of scorn. 

The incident of 1814 occurred when Mr. Fawkner was 
working as a sawyer in the Bush, as he himself mentioned his 

Life of Mr. Fawkner before 1835. ' 283 

pursuit of that trade when he was about eighteen. As some 
one. had chosen to reflect upon that portion of his career in a 
very unjust and cruel manner, an article appeared in the 
Melbourne Age which gave the facts from his own report : — 

"In the year 1814 he was induced, in the enthusiasm of 
youth, indiscreetly to furnish funds and assist a party of seven 
persons to build and provide a cutter, lugger-rigged, in which 
they were to escape from their bondage in the island. The 
vessel was built, provisioned, and ready for sea, when two of the 
number discovered the plot to the authorities. These two 
persons slipped the cable from the bay in which it had been 
built, and ran the cutter up to Hobart Town, betraying all 
concerned; and Mr. Fawkner was included among the persons 
arrested by the Crown. This portion of Mr. Fawkner's life, 
as a matter of course, has been the subject of much misrepre- 
sentation. It has been tortured into the gravest charges 
against him. The result of this act of indiscretion was that he 
left for Sydney, and did not return till March, 1817." (Persons 
convicted of crimes in Van Diemen's Land, in that early time, 
were always sent to Sydney, the head-quarters, for trial.) 

Turning to the story of his younger days, a Gazette advertise- 
ment of August 1st, 1818, shows that he was then a farmer, 
some half-dozen miles to the north of Hobart Town. The 
author has seen the ruined chimneys of the rude tenement then 
occupied. The notice, signed by John FawkneXy Senior, was 
this : — 

"Caution' to the Public. — All persons are hereby warned 
against trespassing, either by grazing stock, cutting down 
timber, or in any other way whatsoever, upon those farms 
situated between the district of Glenorchy and Mr. Austen's 
farm, and known by the names of Fawkner, Junr., Qaingel's, 
Green's, and Fawkner, Sen., Farms ; as all stock found here- 
after upon the said farms will be impounded, and the owners 
prosecuted for the trespass." 

The restless man soon tired of the plough; for a Gdzette 
allusion to him, January 16th, 1819, records some short- 
coming of a "John Fawkner, Junr., a baker in Macquarie 
Street." It is not clear whether the business had been his 
father's, since we read in March, 1820, of one Manning who 
" takes Mr. Fawkner's original bakery house, opposite the Bang's 
Store, Macquarie Street." Misfortune had driven him from 


Port Phillip Settlement. 

the Derwent farm. Probably this arose from another conviction 
recorded in July, 1819, when "John Fawkner, Jun., a/ree man, 
was bound to his good behaviour for twelve months." His 
farm was advertised, Dec. 4th, 1819, thus: — 

" That most valuable farm, the property of John Fawkner, 
jun., conveniently situated near the new road leading to New 
Norfolk from Hobart Town, and adjoining the farm of Mr. J. 
Fawkner, Sen., in the district of Glenorchy. It consists of 
93 acres of land, 5 of which are cleared and have been in 
cultivation." Prompt payment is required, as the sale is " By 
virtue of a Bill of Sale held by Capt. John Howard." 

The Gajzette of Feb. 26th, 1820, refers to " Mr. John Fawkner 
intending shortly to remove his sheep from the district of 
Glenorchy," and must mean the father, not the son. 

The scene now shifts to the other side of the island, to 
Launceston, or, as it was more commonly known, Port Dal- 
rymple. The advertisement of Feb. 17th, 1821, cannot possibly 
refer to any other than the hero of Port Phillip, though the 
jun. does not appear, since the father belonged to the Hobart 
Town side. Here we find the industrious and ever restless man 
going in for literature, though then only as salesman. The 
book of the day, then recently published, was undoubtedly the 
Life of Howe, the Buskranger, This work, together with sundry 
useful legal forms, entered into the line of the ex-baker, 
ex-sawyer, ex-farmer. The advertisement was as follows : — 

" To be always had of Mr. John Fawkner's, at Launceston, 
Port Dalrymple, the following printed forms : — Powers of 
Attorney, Bills of Sale, Indentures of Apprenticeship, Bonds, 
&c. Also the Rules and Orders of the Lieutenant Governor's 
Court, and the Narrative of Michael Howe, the late notorious 
Bush Ranger." 

This was his introduction to the bookselling trade, and led 
him ultimately to that love of books, by which he not only so 
greatly improved his own mind, and fitted himself for the 
senatorial chair, but was led to form one of the best private 
libraries in Victoria, and was induced to make valuable presents 
of books to libraries for the working classes. 

In 1821, the baker s shop in the possession of Mr. J. Fawkner 
was then in Elizabeth Street, Hobart Town, by Melville Street. 
Another notice that year alludes to a house to be let or sold 

,^ / 

Life of Mr. Fawkner before 1835. 285 

next door to Mr. Fawkner's. "Apply to Mr. Fawkner, the 
proprietor." On September 21st, 1821, the father's farm at 
Glenorchy was for sale. But the year after he had an inclination 
to go home, his term having expired, and thus advertised : — 

*' The undersigned intending shortly to proceed to England, 
requests all persons having claims against nim will present the 
same, &c." 

It is noted, as the worthy subject of a newspaper paragraph 
in 1823, that the father gave one Bible, one Testament, and six 
other books to Mr. Nokes, for his Sunday school in Hobart Town. 
His son, therefore, may be said to have inherited an interest in 
books. But the Gazette of January 21st, 1825, bears the sad 
intelligence of the departure of one who had sacrificed an 
English home for the love she bore to an unfortunate husband. 
The record is brief : — " Died, on Saturday last, after a lingering 
illness, Mrs. Fawkner, a resident for many years in this island, 
having arrived with the first fleet in 1803.". 

Meanwhile, the son had once more changed his trade, going 
back to the ancestral business, but on the northern side of the 
island. The advertisement of November, 1823, declares : — " J. 
Fawkner, jun., begs leave to inform the public that he has 
commenced the bakery business at the Verandah House, Laun- 
ceston." A change from that, or an addition to it, appears from 
the notice of June 17th, 1825, which announces " John Fawkner, 
of Launceston, has for sale a quantity of the very best cedar, in 
boards and planks, on the most reasonable terms." Mr. Fawkner 
used to tell his hearers that he had been a sawyer in his younger 
days. The early records throw no light upon that part of his 
career, which may have been when he was a mere lad, though 
indicating his connection with a timber yard. 

It was in 1829 that he got himself into trouble in the same 
way as he had done fifteen years before. The impulsive kind- 
ness of his nature led him to befriend some poor fellow whom 
he had doubtless thought too severely treated. The Launceston 
Advertiser {oT Yehruarj 23rd tells the tale: — " John Fawkner, 
for harbouring a runaway prisoner, to be fined four dollars." 
He was always the prisoner's friend, and was ever ready to 
imperil his own position in succouring those he thought victims 
of oppression. In the United States, before the great rebellion, 

286 PpRT Phillip Settlement. 

he would have been one of the foremost engaged in the forcible 
rescue of negro slaves, and their concealment from pursuing 
masters. The act, however benevolent, was neither prudent 
nor legal in Van Diemen's Land. 

It was about this year that Mr. Fawkner began to figure as a 
quasi lawyer, in that aboriginal period when barristers were 
unknown, and when any man possessed of the gifC, with suflS- 
cient self-confidence, was permitted to plead for another in the 
lower court, or, as it was then called, the Little Go. Such 
individuals were truly Btcsh lawyers, and were not unfrequently 
able, by their astuteness and pertinacity, to confound the magis- 
trate with his weak legal knowledge. It was in consequence of 
Mr. Fawkner espousing the cause of a certain class, and the 
courage with which he bearded the very lion of oflScialdom, that 
he became a power with that class, and, consequently, a terror or 
loathing in the sight of others. Though the politics then may 
be styled purely domestic in character, and had no reference to 
mere State affairs, the two parties in the field were as distinctly 
marked as Liberals and Conservatives as at present ; but with 
this simple difference, that one party was always in power, as the 
other was in humble opposition. Mr. Fawkner's political edu- 
cation began, therefore, in the Launceston Little Go, and his 
clients became his followers. 

Garry Owen has this sketch of the man in his later years, 
but with some reference to an earlier, saying: — "With an 
education of a very restricted kind, he was a voracious reader, 
devouring, but not digesting. He was glib of tongue, choleric 
in disposition ; and it is, therefore, not much wonder to hear of 
his having practised as an advocate in the old public Court of 
Launceston, especially at a time when practitioners were scarce, 
and readiness and bounce answered just as well as law." 

He at once became a public character. He was shrewd 
enough to perceive that a publican extends his trade by a public 
career, and that one who can talk is in no want of listfeners if he 
speak at his own bar. Though never a drinking man himself, 
he recognised the enlarged sphere presented then, not less than 
now, by the occupation of a public-house. The Cornwall Hotel 
took the place of the bakery and timber-yard, and gave facilities 
for his practice in the court, as his wife conducted business in 
his absence. He was, however, driven for a while from that 

Life of Mr. Fawkner before 1835. 287 

post through the opposition of the magistrate, whom he had 
known of old ; or, as he put it himself, " compelled to remove 
from the Cornvjall Hotel through the influence of Messrs. Gordon 
and Co.*' But he regained his stand, and was the landlord of 
the Cornwall at tlie time of Batman's expedition to Port 
Phillip. He appears to have opened it in 1826. 

But he desired an increase of power, a means not only to 
defend himself and his clients, but to carry the war into the 
enemy's camp. A rival newspaper would afford the fitting 
opportunity. The Zaunceston Advertiser in his hands became a 
thorn in the side of his social opponents. 

As the conductor of a paper, while conductor of a public- 
house, he increased his chances as conductor of suits in court. 
The plans were well laid, and well worked, excepting where they 
suffered from the importunity and violence of the conductor. 
But his foes lost no opportunity of attack in the columns of the 
Conservative sheet, the organ of the free and oflScial party. 
The Cornwall Press, afterwards known as the Comvxill Chronicle, 
was the rival of the TasToanian Advertiser, subsequently the 
Zaunceston Advertiser, in Mr. Fawkner's hands. 

The first appearance of the northern luminary was mild 
enough as it shone forth on Monday, February 9th, 1829. The 
introduction was as follows : — 

" Labouring under numerous disadvantages, we feel exceeding 
diflSdence in introducing to the public this (our first) number of 
the Zaunceston Advertiser; but when we consider that time 
alone can surmount the difficulties, and that these difficulties 
will be allowed for,]and considered, by a generous and discerning 
public, we confess we feel our confidence encouraged. 

" Harmony is the motto of the Zaunceston Advertiser, whose 
pages shall never be prostrated by scurrility, calumny, syco- 
phancy, or disafiection ; nor shall they be made the vehicle of 
slander, malice, and party feeling." 

Alas I for poor human nature, these virtuous resolutions were 
soon broken, and the reign of peace came to an untimely end. 
Did one want a little excitement or diversion, that might be 
found in the mutual recriminations of the rival papers of that 
ancient town of Launceston. It must have been pleasant for 
any one to read of himself in the ComuHill Press of May, 1829, 
such gentle expressions as "Addlepated upstart — a gan-ulous 

288 Tort Phillip Settlement. 

, maligner — five feet two inches and a quarter — whip-deserving 
impudence — as a moral pestilence must be checked," &c. 

But the Advertiser was equal to the occasion. The language 
was unmistakably after the style of the man. It was slightly 
personal in reply, as the other was personal in attack. " Do 
you remember," said Fawkner, " the pleader in the Lieutenant- 
Governor's Court who advertised to be sold at the Albion Hotel 
lollipops, bull's-eyes, barley-sugar, and kisses ? By the bye, the 
five feet two and a quarter man says he would thank you to call 
and pay the wine bill you run up some three months ago ; so, 
we believe, would other landlords." Again : " About talent and 
the Little Go. Oh, no ; it was not personal to point out a man 
as 5 feet 2^ inches high, and that he does not well to ride. 
No — oh, no ; nothing that a religious man does can be amiss." 

. One consequence of this paper warfare was that he lost his 
licence. To this he replied in his paper : — 

** The proprietor has been only once fined during the three 
years he had a licence, while several of those who are now 
licensed have been very repeatedly fined. It is only owing to 
independence of spirit. We know who has been working the 

puppet wires ; the who lives at the has been offended, 

and it was spoken of by one of that a month back, that 

Fawkner should lose his licence." He himself said that it was 
because he refused to swear to a pair of trousers thought to 
have been stolen. His newspaper said " compelled to remove 
from the Cornwall Hotel through the influence of Messrs. 
Gordon and Co." 

The advertisement of his business in the Advertiser was as 
follows : — 

"Fawkner's Hotel, Cameron Street. — The proprietor 
returns his sincere thanks to his friends and the public for 
the support he has received (since unforeseen circumstances 
have occasioned him to re-open), and pledges himself to fur- 
nish to all those who may favour him with their custom the 
very best accommodation both of bed and board, and at the 
lowest possible rates," &c. 

But another advertisement is more likely to be from his 
own pen: — 

" Fawkner's Circulating Library Books teach us to ' see our- 
selves as others see us.' Lists, History, Opie's and Mrs. Rad- 
oliffe's novels ; Smollett's Dance of Death, Blossom of Anecdote, &c," 

Life of Mb. Fawkner before 1835. 


This is a new departure, as satisfactory as unexpected. To 
realise Mr. Fawkner's love of books, we must pass in review his 
own peculiar and chequered career, as sawyer, baker, &c., and 
remember the dark times of the colony in his day, when few 
cared to read, and few indeed were the books to be read. His 
was eminently a mind as progressive as it was ardent. Unsatisfied 
with his own position, unsatisfied with circumstances around 
him, he was not content with expressions of regret or annoyance, 
but strove in himself, as well as in society around, to correct and 
improve. Even in his recently assumed profession, as a pleader 
in the LUtle Go, he resolved to fit himself the better to 
conduct his cases, and applied himself to the study of history 
and political economy. Little, then, did he expect that such 
rude culture was the first step to his occupying the important 
post of Senator in the Parliament of Victoria. 

But one advertisement, on May 18th, 1829, is too remarkable 
to be omitted : — 

" John Fawkner, jun., begs to inform his Friends and the 
PubUc that any person having French books which they do not 
understand, that he will translate any difficult passage for them, 
on Thursdays each week, he having a good knowledge of that 

To recover possession of his public-house he had to eat 
humble pie; and on Jxme 7th, 1830, publicly read in court 
an apology for some reflections upon the magisterial conduct 
of Mr. Gordon. Among other remarks are these words : " I 
have never ceased to admire the patient and impartial manner 
in which your Honour," &c. It was while he waa a sawyer down 
the Tamar, on the northern side of the island, that he first 
engaged as a rum-seller; and he continued to keep the 
Cornwall Hotel of Launceston till his arrival in Port Phillip, 
when he opened the first spirit-house of that new settlement. 
Although his attacks on the magisterial bench made him fresh 
enemies among the officials, and repeated attempts were made 
to implicate him as a f&fvce, with his house as a receiving 
one for certain goods, he managed successfully to maintain his 

His connection with the Launceston Advertiser ceased about 
1832, when it was disposed of to the much-respected Mr. 


290 Port Phillip Settlement. 

Dowling, son of the popular minister of Launceston. XJiider 
the new management a different system was pursued, and the 
paper rose accordingly in public estimation, excepting with the 
eixipir^ class. Ross's Van Biemen's Zand Almanac for 1832 
had this announcement : " The Launcestan Advertiser has 
changed hands from Mr. Fawkner to Mr. Dowliug, and from the 
respectable manner in which it is conducted is daily increasing 
in favour." In 1832 Mr. Fawkner started one of the earliest 
coaches which ran between Perth and Launceston. He ceased 
to be a pleader in the LUtle Oo, or court of suits under 10/., 
as soon as genuine pleaders arrived in the colony, when irregular 
gentlemen were excluded as advocates. 

The active brain of the landlord of the Oarmoall was much 
exercised in politics, and he took an active part in all move- 
ments to secure trial by jury, freedom of the press, and repre- 
sentative government. As it was from Launceston that Mr. 
Henty and his sons arranged to form a whaling establishment 
at Portland Bay, Mr. Fawkner was led to take an interest in 
exploration and settlement. He says that in that year, 1834, 
he had himself contemplated a trip to the opposite shore, longing 
to see the place where he sojourned for a few months when a 
boy, and which he, in common with many in that expedition, 
believed to be a better country than Qovernor Collins supposed, 
and superior to the island to which he had removed the camp. 

In politics he took what we in this day would call the *' Badical " 
side. Some attributed to him revolutionary ideas. But the 
oppression of one class in his day, the contumely and even 
cruelty with which they were sometimes treated, together with 
the exclusion of even free settlers from any share in the 
government, then monopolised by a few officials, would be quite 
enough to produce dissatisEsbction in men of more placid temper 
than Mr. Fawkner. He derided the scheme carried out by 
Qovernor Arthur to inclose the warlike Tasmanian Blacks in a 
net by a cordon of troops and constables, predicting its certain 
failure. He bitterly inveighed against the harsh Press laws, and 
the one-sided administration of justice. Thorn in the way as he 
was, his usefulness cannot be disputed* Rough modes of action 
seem necessary in rough times, while gentleness and refinement 
are not to be expected in a Thor-like hammerer at gross 
public abuses. 

Life of Mr. Fawkner before 1835. 291 

Though sh'ght ii\, figure, and in stature styled " 5 feet 2J," 
with a countenance more indicative of shrewdness than power, 
there was in the man a native energy that made him rise 
superior to all assaults, endure all sneers, quail at no difiSculty, 
and that thrust him ever foremost in the strife, happy in the 
war of words and the clash of tongues. 

The year before his removal to Port Phillip he was one of the 
busiest men in the island. He did something with trading and 
coasting craft, ran a daily coach from Launceston to Norfolk 
Plains, opened a horticultural establishment, and was carrier, 
farmer, hotel-keeper, general commission agent, public auc- 
tioneer, bookseller, and chief local politician. But the following 
advertisement, appearing in the Launceston paper of October 
2nd, 1834, reveals him in another character. Although the 
composition was not all his own, some individualities appear 
that could only come from his suggestions : — 

"Artium Pecciano. 

" This Theatre of Arts, which has been for some time in 
preparation, will shortly be opened to the Public At the 
Cornwall Assembly Room. 

" This delightful, entertaining, and strictly moral amusement 
will be well calculated to delight ALL from CraLDHOOD TO 
Decrepit Age, and is very particularly recommended to the 
notice of those families whose RELIGIOUS tenets forbid their 
participation in the Amusements of the Stage. 

'* The scenery will consist of choice selections from La Belle 
Italie, and other celebrated places. 

'' The mechanical arrangements will put in motion vessels, 
troops, processions, &c., which movements will be accompanied 
by choice and appropriate music. 

" Artiste and leader of the band — 
"Mr. Geo. Peck. 

" This will open a new Era in the bright page of the History 
of Tasmania. 

"John Fawkner, Jun." 

In that same year, 1834, and in the month of February, 
appeared the following notice in the paper, showing that his 
new occupations as auctioneer and showman had not closed his 
book store : — 

" Fawkner's Circulatinq Library.— J. F. takes an early 
opportunity to inform his friends and the public that, in addition 

U 2 

292 Port Phillip Settlement. 

to the large stock of novels formerly advertised, a choice 
selection of novels and standard works nave heen added to his 

The year 1835 saw the busy man busier than ever. But the 
sphere was too narrow for his impetuous spirit. He had out- 
grown the place and its surroundings. He had, beyond any 
man of his day, burst through barriers of a most formidable 
social nature. He had outlived a peculiar past. By removal to 
Launceston he had partially emancipated himself, and entered 
upon a more useful as well as extended course of action. He 
had read, as well as talked ; thought, as well as worked. Ho 
felt himself hide-bound in Van Diemens Land society; he 
could never take such a position as his ambition prompted, and 
as his consciousness of power indicated. It was the necessity of 
removal from old haunts and old associations that operated 
privately in his scheme of colonising Port Phillip, Western 
Port, or any other port, so that he got away from the ports of 
Van Diemen's Land. On July 30th, he advertised that he 
would pay no accounts except " through Mrs. Fawkner of the 
Cornwall Hotel" On the third of September appeared this 
notice : '' To be let, with immediate possession, garden and 
orchard, the property of Mr. J. Fawkner, situate in Brisbane 

The details of his adventures to Port Phillip and in it are 
to be seen elsewhere. We have followed him from his youth 
till his arrival within the Heads in 1835, when he was forty- three 
years of age. It is not our purpose to follow him further, 
except to record his ascending movement in society, in spite of 
every obstacle, till he had reached the goal of his noble ambition, 
and become a legislator of the colony in which he originally 
landed under such different circumstances. He aimed at being 
the Tribune of the People. He entered the portals of the Legis- 
lature as an extreme Badical. When seated in the Upper 
Council, he preferred to exhibit himself as the Conservative. 
It is more agreeable to trace him as a friend of literature, as the 
collector of a splendid library, and as the distributor of thousands 
of volumes to local libraries. 

He married long before he came to Port Phillip, and his 
widow, respected for her domestic virtues, still survives him. No 

Life of Mr. Fawkner before 1835. 293 

child ever blessed the union. Mr. Fawkner slept in peace, 
September 4th, 1869, and his remains were followed to the 
grave by a multitude of his fellow colonists. The following 
description of him in declining life is from the author s John 
Batman, the Founder of Victoria : — 

''He is small of stature, and extremely attenuated inform. 
Bowed with years, oppressed with a cough, with a few white 
hairs drooping from beneath his skull-cap, he has that aspect 
of feebleness and age which commands at once the reverential 
respect of the spectator, and the patient attention of the listener 
to his weak and stniggling speech. It is only when some 
remembrance of ancient wrongs comes up, or the narrative runs 
into the personal of his former rivals, that his dull eye quickens 
into something of its olden fiash of fire, and his voice rises as if 
to emulate the vehemence which marked his early oratory. 
The infirmities of a frame in its seventy-fifth year soon reduce 
his enthusiasm, and lower his tone to whispering weakness. 
The distressing cough which follows increases the sympathy of 
his auditors, and ears are brought forward with more watchful 
care to catch the notes, so precious do they seem.'' 

The portrait herewith presented, by favour of Mr. Westgarth, 
is an admirable likeness, and is worthily executed. His signa- 
ture has the never-forgotten intimation that he was both a 
Justice of the Peace and a Member of the Legislative Council 
in Victoria. 



While some are of opinion that, until Batman had succeeded 
in his expeditioti, the others had no thought of the enterprise, 
Mr. Fawkner claims credit for the indulgence of the idea a good 
time before. It is true that the statement was made thirty- 
odd years after, and may be a Uttle out in its dates. The man 
who could so confidently exclaim, "The city of Melbourne I 
founded," might be excused writing, in relation to the delay in 
the arrival of his vessel from Sydney, " and thus the settlement 
of Port Phillip was retarded some weeks." In the Digger's 
Advocate, 1853, he thus wrote : — 

"Early in the year 1835, the writer of these pages had 
arranged in his own mind a plan of colonization for Port Phillip, 
and to enable him to make good his scheme, five residents of 
Launceston were taken into his confidence. What strange 
events are brought about by small means, and from what a 
mixed society of honourable men was this project carried into 
operation. The colonizers were six in number : one ex-editor of 
the Launceston Advertiser, J. P. F., one architect and builder, two 
cabinet-makers and builders, one plasterer, and one captain in 
the merchant service ; the most of them possessing at least a 
fair average share of common sense, and no little activity. Each 
of them brought with them some capital, in cash or stock, and 
a vast amount of the very best of capital, that without which no 
new colony can get on well, viz., hands used to work, and minds 
resolved to labour. J. P. Fawkner, in order to insure the neces- 
sary means of transit to and from Port Phillip and Launceston, 
bought of Mr. John Anderson Brown the schooner Ernterprise, 
of about fifty-five tons burden ; but Mr. B.'s agent had employed 
that vessel, which had been sent to fetch coals from Newcastle, 
in the regular coal trade between Sydney and the coal-mines of 

Fawkner on the Taera Yarra. 295 

Newcastle, and thus the settlement of Fort Phillip was retarded 
some weeks. 

" On the 13th of July, 1835, the schooner ErUerprise returned 
from Sydney, and on the 18th was duly delivered to J. P. Fawk- 
ner. On the 21st she was despatched from Launceston^ith the 
pioneers to form a new colony in New South Wales. 

''No time had been lost in procuring provisions, a good 
whale-boat and its fittings, and all such thmgs as J. P. Fawkner 
thought might be useful or required in a place which few vessels 
visited. He particularly furnished common coarse food and 
clothing, together with blankets and tomahawks, knives and 
handkerchiefs, suitable for the aborigines, which were afterwards 
found veiy useful. Horses and ploughs, grain to sow, garden 
seeds and plants, and a very large and varied assortment of 
fruit-trees; 2,500 in number, were shipped on board, and a stock 
of provisions to last some months, part of the materials for a 
house, and most of the comforts required in civilized life. 

'' On the 27th, the Enterprise put to sea irom George Town, 
the port of clearance, having on board Messrs. Wm. Jackson, 
Qeo. Evans, Robert Hay Moor, Captain John Lancey, and John 
Pascoe Fawkner. Mr. G. Evans took over one servant, and 
J. P. Fawkner put on board James Gilbert, blacksmith, and his 
wife Mary, Charles Wise, ploughman, and Thomas Morgan, 
general servant. 

'' The voyagers passed out with a fair wind, but a foul one 
soon set in, and for three nights and two days contrary weather 
kept the vessel almost within sight of George Town Heads. 
J. P. Fawkner became very ill from sea-sickness and other 
causes, and ordered the captain to return to George Town. He 
then resolved to let the expedition go on, he giving them full 
written instructions to guide and direct their plan of operations ; 
and landing one of his horses at George Town, J. P. F. pro- 
ceeded overland to Launceston, and the ErUerprise passed over 
to Western Port, followed by a sloop, in which Mr. John Aitken 
embarked without a navigator, merely keeping up with the 
Enterprise, which, from her slowness, was no great difficulty. 
M:r. John Aitken had been lying perdue, in order to slip over 
with our party without our knowledge. This Western Port 
was to be carefully examined bv a series of triangular marches 
each day, the Bay forming the base, and ten miles or more was 
the distance they were to march inland, returning from four to 
five miles further west, or nearer the West Head, until the 
whole Bay was examined. They entered Western Port on 
Saturday, the 8th day of August, and lefb it and passed into 
Port Phillip on Saturday, the 15th day of August. One out of 
many bits of fun was often talked over in the Western Port 
exploration. The weather was very cold, and much rain had 

296 Port Phillip Settlement. 

fallen, many swamps had to be crossed, and on one occasion the 
party had got very wet ashore, and when they pushed ofif the 
boat, so thick a fog came on that the sailors missed their true 
course and got on a sand flat. Imagine six men, no food, no 
bedding, hungry from a hard day's travel, and obliged to sit all 
night in a cold fog and wet clothes. One of the party, a 
cockney, bitterly lamented in a most droll manner the sorrow 
he felt for having suffered his brother to drag him from London ; 
and putting up his hands in an imploring manner, earnestly 
prayed that he might once more reach Whitechapel, and 
nothing on earth should ever tempt him to leave that glorious 
spot again. Yet this man has, in defiance of bad management, 
made a fortune — and that a large one — ^by squatting pursuits. 

" After carefully examining the lands around Western Port, 
and giving them up as not likely to form a good site for any 
very dense population,' the JSnterprise pushed out of Western 
Port on Saturday, the 15th day of August, about 8 o'clock A.M. 
On passing the Duck-ponds, near Shortland Bluff, a whale-boat, 
manned with some Sydney aborigines and one white man, came 
off, and asked * the news — where from — ^and whereto,' and told 
our people that Mr. John Batman, KING of Port Phillip, had 
bought all the lands, and desired ALL trespassers to keep 
ALOOF ! The blacks were civil enough, and supplied our people 
with plenty of good choice fish. The Enterprise was conducted 
by Captain Hunter, as master of the vessel, along the southern 
channel, and the men landed each day to examine the country, 
from five to ten miles inland, the vessel only moving a short 
distance until they returned on board, and pushing a few miles 
further by night in order to examine new lands the next day. 
No eligible spot was found on the east side of Port Phillip Bay. 
The directions were not to finally settle down, except upon a 
river, or copious supply of fresh water. On Thursday, the 20th, 
the Ilnterprise came to anchor in Hobson's Bay, just clear of the 
bar upon the channel to the Yarra Yarra; and the new 
colonists, Messrs. B. H. Moor, Qeorge Evans, W. Jackson, and 
Captain Lancey, putting some provender into the five-oared 
whale-boat brought for the occasion, on Friday, the 21st of 
August, pushed off with two of the workmen to explore the 
inlet. In fact, they aU, except Captain Hunter, master of the 
ETvterprisCy doubted as to that being the debouchment of any 
stream. But he found it on his chart, and advised their trying 
to find what he was sure they would — a fresh-water river. 
With three cheersr-from the crew for success to the adventurers, 
they pushed off, and after once or twice touching on the mud 
flats, they found plenty of deep water, and pushed on joyftiUy 
and thoughtlessly, passed the junction of the Yarra Yarra 
without much notice, and went up the direct course, named by 

Fawkner on the Yarra Yarra. 297 

them the Salt Water River, because they could not get up it far 
enough to find the stream fresh, owing to the vast number of 
fallen trees lying in the water, which so obstructed the naviga- 
tion, that after much labour they landed, and could not then 
discover the fresh water, the place that they landed at not 
allowing them to see the course of the stream. They returned 
to the vessel exhausted and fretful, having been most of the day 
without water to drink, they having on all former occasions 
found plenty of that element on shore. Mind, this was in 
August, the wet season. 

" The next dskj they took water as well as food, and pushed 
up the Yarra Yarra, having noticed the opening thereto on 
their return from the Salt Water stream ; and, after about an hour 
and quarters pull, they reached with great joy the basin at Mel- 
bourne, and were delighted, in fact, half wild with exultation, at 
the beauty of the country. The velvet-like grass carpet, decked 
with flowers of most lively hues, most liberally spread over the 
land, the fresh water, the fine lowlands, and lovely knolls 
around the lagoons on the flat or swamps, the flocks, almost 
innumerable, of teal, ducks, geese, and swans, and minor fowls, 
filled them with joy. They all with one voice agreed that they 
had arrived at the site of the new Settlement, and resolved to 
have the vessel brought up if possible, the goods, stores, &c., 
landed, and the commencement of a town forthwith made. 
They took a stand upon what was subsequently called 
Batman's Hill, and passed some hours there, and thereabout, 
enjoying the novel and extraordinary view before them. They 
were so pleased with the country, that they made it night before 
they returned to the vessel, which was lying opposite to William's 
Town (that now is), near the bar entrance to the Yarra Yarra 
River. Captain Hunter having been diligently employed these 
two days with his crew sounding the way up, it took some time 
to provide poles and fix them on the various shoals in the 
stream, now marked by large buoys and strong beacons (but 
then markless) ; and all this accomplished, the vessel was, with 
much trouble, got up to the so-called junction, and the next day 
a fair wind drove the lucky Enterprise up into the basin at 
Melbourne ; the captain reporting three fathoms all the way up, 
and in one part of the basin seven and a half fathoms of water, 
viz., from the junction up and into the basin. 

** No time was lost, although it was Sunday, in getting the 
vessel close to the bank, at the very spot now occupied by the 
old shed of the Customs department, and some timber had to be 
cut from the overhanging trees to allow the vessel to lie along- 
side the bank ; from a plank the people landed, and the horses, 
having been nearly six weeks aboard, were hoisted out and 
landed, very much to their satisfaction ; the fine young green 

S98 Port Phillip Settlement. 

grass and flowering herbage appearing to gratify their palates, 
and their gambols evincing their delight at being released from 
shipboard, with its unsteady evils and close confinement. 
There the master and crew of the Enterprise joined the adven- 
turers in their undisguised joy at the success that after several 
weeks' arduous exertion seemed likely to reward, ay, well 
reward, their joint labours. ' It may not be out of place here to 
remark that Captain Hunter all through looked upon the 
attempt to form a new settlement as a wild-goose chase. The 
fine fertile fields, the open flowery and grassy knolls and downs, 
and the indescribable charms which the country, at first sight, 
around Melbourne displayed, riveted almost every visitor's 
attention, until man's hand had despoiled nature of her pristine 
features. The poet has said, ' Beauty unadorned is loveliest.' 
And this then could truly be said of the country around (what 
is now called) Melbourne. 

" Kangaroo dogs had been provided by J. P. Fawkner, and 
the first day of landing a fine boomer was started not many 
yards from the vessel, driven into the river, just above the site 
of the Prince's Bridge, killed and taken to the vessel. The 
river, above the Falls, was most odoriferous with the scent ot 
the wattle blossom, which added also to the beauty of the 
scenery. Monday, the Slst of August — nothing done. The 
next day, Tuesday, September 1st, 1835, the goods were put 
ashore, and a hut soon made to cover them, and a sleeping hut 
for the adventurers that were to remain. On Wednesday, late 
in the evening, Mr. John Hilder Wedge, a V. D. Land Surveyor, 
came to Melbourne, brought by the blacks in a whale-boat Mr. 
Batman had left at Indented Head. Strange to say, that, 
although he only came thirty miles and must have known that 
he would have to return, he trusted to our people s hospitality 
to feed him there and find him food for his return voyage, 
although he made the trip in order to warn oflf our party. He 
was also guilty of something very like double-dealing ; he got into 
conversation with Captain Lancey, who had charge from J. P. 
Fawkner of the direction of all matters on land concerning the 
adventure, pumping (as it is called) him of all the occurrences 
of the trip, and stating that he was only out overlooking the 
country, that he was not interested, &c., &c. Although he was 
one of the greedy seventeen, he kept up this tone all the after- 
noon and the next day, until he had got a supply of food 
wherewith to return to the Indented Head, and then he 
changed his tone, told Captain Lancey and the other colonists 
that he had come expressly to warn them off, as the whole of 
the lands of Port Phillip had been bought and paid for by him 
and his co-associates (and a pretty medley lot they were), and 
finished by handing over to Captain Lancey a written order for 

Fawkner on the Tarra Yarra. 299 

him and all his party to leave their (the Company's) landed 
estate. Captain Lancey handed the paper back to J. H. W., 
telling him he might want such a piece for some necessary 
occasion, which would be the fiill worth of such a notice, not 
forgetting to tell him of the change in his story of the morning 
from the one at night, taunting him with his two-faced dealing. 

"The land having been selected close to Mr. Langland's 
foundry for the garden, and also to put in a few acres of wheat, 
on Tuesday the first plough was put into the earth, and on the 
8th of September five acres of wheat were sown, partly on and 
around Mr. Langland's foundry, and a garden commenced between 
that and the hill known as Batman's Hill, upon which hill our 
people first pitched their tent on the 30th of August, 1835, and 
which was not removed until J. P. Fawkner came over in October, 
1835, when he fixed to dwell nearer the Fall, and put up his 
house exactly at the rear of the Custom House. 

"The ploughing was performed by horse labour, and the 
ploughman was George Wise, one of the sons of Mr. Richard Wise, 
of Norfolk Plains, who was engaged to J. P. Fawkner for one 
year's service, as general farm-servant, at 251, a year. 

" It had been agreed that each person of the six associates 
should have a plot of land, on which to build and make a garden, 
and grow com on, and that if it was found that the Government 
would not allow the whites to buy and hold land under title 
obtained from the aborigines, it was thought no reasonable 
British Government would refuse to the first bond fde settlers 
a plot of land on which they might grow food for themselves 
and dependents. This expectation, as the reader will find, was 
one very wide of the mark, when Sir Richard Bourke took pos- 
session of our discovery, made at the risk of life, and at a cost of 
money few people are aware of. 

" The small lots agreed upon were measured off, simply ten 
acres for each of the six. Contrast this with the squatting 
fraternity, pushed over under the auspices of Lieutenant- 
Governor Arthur, in which his nephew, if not himself, had one 
share, and many of his officers also shared amongst them the 
fine fertile fields of Australia FeUx. The writer cannot but own 
that he loves that name or title far more than the common 
hackneyed one of ' Victoria/ The lands having been roughly 
measured off, lots were drawn, and on the lands which fell to 
J. P. Fawkner's share the ground was ploughed and sown with 
wheat, and a garden dug, plants put in, seeds sown, and the fruit 
trees planted in the soil. Tuesday, the 1st of September, the 
loading of the vessel was safely placed on shore, and whilst some 
were labouring on this work, others were preparing a hut, and 
on Wednesday, the 2nd of September, all hands were employed 
getting and carrying grass, and storing a store hut. September 

300 Port Phillip Settlement. 

3rd, the Enterprise, in passing out of the basin, got too close to 
the south bank and took the ground, but soon got clear. Next 
day, 4th, dropt down to a point below the junction and took in 
ballast. Friday, the 5th September, at 2 AJL, the Enterprise left 
the Yarra Yarra, and J. P. Fawkner's servants, and also Mr. 
Geoi^e Evans, and his man Evan Evans, remained there. Messrs. 
W. Jackson and Robert Henry Moor returned to Launceston 
per the Enterprise, and on Sunday, the 7th September, at 4 P.M., 
the pilot came on^ board and safely conducted the vessel to 
anchorage at George Town, River Tamar." 

Another version, in 1868, ran thus : — 

''During March and April I searched out and found five 
persons in Launceston willing to venture across with me as their 
guide. Their names and occupations were as follows : — First, 
John Lancey, pilot (dead), had commanded one of the whaling 
vessels ; second, Robert Hay Marr (left the colony), carpenter 
and builder; third, Samuel Jackson, architect and builder (he 
is a squatter of large means and is with his brother) ; fourth, 
William Jackson, also a carpenter; and fifth, George Evans, 
plasterer, now residing in Melbourne. 

" As soon as these men had agreed to join me, I desired my 
broker, Mr. John Charles Underwood, of Launceston, to purchase 
for me a vessel, not to exceed a fixed sum, wherewith to transport 
over the Straits our goods, persons, and stock, and all things 
required for us to form a new colony. The broker did contract 
for a schooner, of fifty-five tons, with a Mr. John Anderson 
Brown, of Launceston. The vessel was then at Sydney, em- 
ployed carrying coals from Newcastle to Sydney, and Mr. J. A. 
Brown directed the vessel to be sent immediately to Launceston. . 
But his Sydney agent had, before the order arrived, entered into 
a contract to deliver a certain quantity of coal at Sydney, and 
thus the vessel was delayed of delivery until July 18th, 1835. 
Thus our voyage was delayed, and in the latter end of April it 
was rumoured that Messrs. Joseph Tice Gellibrand, Ex- Attorney 
General of Van Diemen's Land, and thirteen others, had agreed 
to settle upon a large portion of land in the neighbourhood of 
Port Phillip, and on the Bay side, on a plea that before this it 
had been adopted in New Zealand by Messrs. Wentworth and 
others, namely, to buy the land nominally from the sable 
aborigines, and to get them to sign a deed of erant in a language 
they were perfectly ignorant of, and for a psJtry consideration." 
He added, "I took with me Thomas Morgan, shoemaker; 
Charles Wise, ploughman; James Gilbert, horseshoer and 
general blacksmith, and his wife, as servant of all work." 

Fawkner on the Yarra Yarra. 301 

In another account he wrot« for the Age, August Slst, he 
said, " As there are many colonists unaware of the first settle- 
ment at Melbourne, I beg of you to publish the following 
account : — Having resolved to attempt to form a settlement at 
Port Phillip when I was residing at Launceston in 1835," &c. 
" In March, 1835, 1 purchased the Enterprise schooner to convey 
me and five friends who consented to venture over the Straits 
to found a new colony." 

The Fawkner's party, so-called, was more for the inspection 
of the new country than for a permanent settlement, as Batman 
and his friends intended. While the one man assumed the 
credit of the whole undertaking, his companions were not pre- 
pared to grant his claims. He speaks too. much in their name, 
as the representative person, and implies their inferiority to 
himself. Venturing, in his rather too common forgetfulness 
of facts, after the lapse of so many yesirs, and from his habit of 
not forgetting himself, to give this impression, he was a little 
rudely taken to task by the daughter of one of his partners in 
the expedition. The letter is addressed to the Melbourne 
Herald : — 

" In reference to a paragraph which appeared in your issue 
of yesterday, purporting to be firom a correspondent about the 
' oldest inhabitant,' it is stated that my father, Mr. George Evans 
(who from long illness is unable to reply), waa the employ^ of 
Mr. Fawkner. I beg, on the part of my father, to contradict 
the statement. My father came here on his own resources. He 
paid his own passage, and that of his servant, Even Even. He 
was in every way better able to employ Mr. Fawkner than Mr. 
Fawkner him. Although chance had thrown Mr. Fawkner at 
the Heads some sixty years ago, nearly contemporary with that 
period was my father fighting the battles of his country, under 
Lord Nelson, at Copenhagen. I only wish, Mr. Editor, that 
some patriotic member of the Assembly would move for a 
Select Committee to inquire into the early settlement of 
Victoria. It would then be seen what part each took in colonizing 
Port Phillip. Apart from the individual interest, it would be 
a great matter to future Victorians that such an inquiry should 
take place, as they would have a datum to go by in arriving at 
the first settlement of the colony. I have the honour to be. 
Sir, your most obedient servant, 

"Mary Ann Evans. 

"Royal Oak Hotel, Queen Street, 
2Uh September, 1863.** 

302 Port Phillip Settlement. 

Mr. Fawkner contradicts himself about the Fawkner Asso- 
ciation. The ordinary story of settlement he told was after 
this style : — 

"The second attempt was made by six individuals, not 
Government oflBcers, carried out at their own cost, they not 
drawing one shilling from the public treasury. I am one of that 
six, and the success of our eflForts can be seen by every colonist 
present this day." 

Here there is a complete ignoring of Batman's party, who 
had settled in the country some time before he set his foot on 
the banks of the Yarra. But, after giving credit to the whole 
party, he finds occasion still further to exalt himself at the 
expense of the rest, quite forgetting what he had said about the 
Company organization, and speaking both unkindly and unjustly 
of the rest. In the Argus of 1868, we read : — 

•* I sought out some friends to come wUh me in 1835, and five 
persons agreed to help to found the new colony. Their names 
were Robert Hay Marr, William Jackson, Samuel Jackson, 
Captain John Lancey, and George Evans. They all deserted me. 
Some went away, and the others took to sheep farming, and I 
alone remained to found the famous city of Melbourne." 

This implies a subordination on the part of the others, and 
the repudiation of their agreement to stay with him. Elsewhere 
he states, " We had agreed to plot out sixty acres amongst the 
six adventurers." One of the party, however, Mr. Samuel 
Jackson, upon seeing the account, wrote from England, Decem- 
ber 2nd, 1868, to object to certain statements. He declares 
that the so-called party broke up hefore Mr. Fawkner went to 
Port Phillip. After they, said he — 

'*Had satisfied themselves as to the capabilities of the 
country, the whole of the Fawkner party returned in the 
Enterprise to Launceston. There this party was broken up, and 
it was purely on the favourable account the party gave of the 
country on their return from Port Phillip which induced 
Fawkner some time afterwards to go over ; but that was not 
until the party had been mutually dissolved, so that each one 
was left to choose his ftiture line of action in reference to 
revisiting the discovered land." 

The assertion of Mr. Fawkner that his party of six had 
settled the country is thus shown by one of the party to arise 

Fawkner on the Yarra Yarra. 308 

from a lapse of memory. The Launceston company of six 
agreed to explore ; but, by dissolving their company, they 
ceased to co-operate in the settlement, each man taking what 
part he pleased in such a work. Had they been a Company, 
how could the members of it be said to desert Mr. Fawkner ? 
Had the five been his servants, entreated to abide with him, 
their desertion might appropriately enough have called forth 
his displeasure. As it happened, they were neither his co- 
operators nor his employes, Mr. Jackson, who occupied a not 
unimportant social position, was unwilling to submit to this 
assertion, and thus replied : — 

" If what I have stated be facts, it is rather too much for the 
first pioneers of this party to rest quietly under the accusation 
of deserters, more especially when the charge comes from the 
only man of the party who at the very outset (on account of 
the roughish sea) left the rest to do the best they might, and 
face those dangers he evidently was afraid of. Now I challenge 
J. P. Fawkner on oath to declare that he was with the party, 
viz., W. Jackson, G. Evans, R. H. Marr, and Lancey, at the time 
they first entered the Heads of Port Phillip Bay, landed on its 
shores, and made their way to the site of the present Melbourne. 
Therefore, with all his braggadocio, he can never justly claim a 
share in the dangers and hardships the first pioneers encountered, 
and to whom the credit of first landing is alone due ; and as to 
desertion of party, I think the right saddle is on the right horse 
when he bears it." 

It is not true, as some have reported, that Mr. Fawkner and 
his friends had not thought about the matter till after Batman 
returned from his trip in May. They had come to an agi*ee- 
ment before. It was no secret about the association of Batman 
and others. The writer had the impression from several old 
Tasmanian colonists that the contemplated expedition was the 
subject of common talk a long time even before matters were 
matured for Batman's venture. Batman himself had never 
ceased, from the time Mr. Qellibrand and he applied for the 
right of settling on that coast in 1827, to speak of the scheme^ 
and plot for its accomplishment The completion of the 
Association's arrangements would certainly set others on the 
qui vive. Some, like Mr. Fawkner, paraded their intentions to 
go over ; others, like Mr. Aiken and many more, kept their own 
counsel, and departed with less ostentation. An advertisement 

304 Port Phillip Settlement. 

in the Launceston Advertiser, May 21st, not long after Batman 
left for Port Phillip, settles the question of an early resolution 
on the part of Fawkner's friends : — 

** The Enterprise, daily expected from Sydney, will be imme- 
diately laid on for New Holland, to convey an exploring party 
of gentlemen to the ' New Country.' *' 

This party consisted of six persons, though one was declared 
to have originated the plan, and arranged for the vessel. " The 
five adventurers," says Mr. Fawkner in a letter to the Leader, 
" agreed to give me seven pounds each, to pay for a whale-boat 
bought of the captain of the Sally Anne schooner, and to find 
them in provisionB for the voyage. The boat, oars and sail, cost 
23^. Thus I only got 12/. to find food for those adventurers* 
The four shareholders, and George Evans's man, had victuals 
from 18th July to 6th September, for seven weeks." 

The notice of departure in the Launceston Advertiser states 
that the Enterprise, Hunter, IMLaster, would sail July 21st The 
passengers mentioned were : J. Fawkner, jun., J. H. Lancey, 
Geo. Evans, W. Jackson, R. H. Marr, Chas. Wise, E. Evans, 
Wm. Gilbert, Jas. Gilbert, Mary Gilbert, Thomas Morgan, Chas. 
Boberts. It is added, " A quantity of stores and a^cultural 

This has points of much interest. Though those who went 
over a week after the announced time were not precisely those 
named, they were mainly so. It is clear that some, at least, of 
the number intended permanent settlement, as stores and 
agricultural implements are mentioned as a portion of the 
intended cargo. Mr. Fawkner claims the merit of being the 
owner of the farming tools, and asserts that he sent over two 
servants to prepare lahd for seeds. The first trip of the vessel 
was not, therefore, a mere trial one, but a bond fide venture, 
with a view to occupation of country somewhere on the south 
coast of New Holland. 

But the leading spirit was not one of the voyagers across the 
sliormy strait. Fawkner quailed before the perils of the deep ; 
these were no trifles, even in the case of Batman, so long 
bufieted and beaten back by the breezes off the north shores of 
Van Diemen's Land. Much merriment has been made over 

Fawkner on the Yarra Yarra! 305 

that sea-sickness, which compelled our hero to take the un- 
Jonah part of fleeing from the ship. He gives the following 
account of the start, claiming, as usual, the whole merit of the 
proceedings : — 

" I found myself too unwell to venture to sea again, so I 
landed one of my horses, and, after writing full instructions for 
the guidance of the members of the Association, reading over 
and explaining them, I put the land party and instructions 
under the charge of Captain John Lancey, one of the six 
associates, directing them to visit Western Port first, laying 
down rules for their guidance on each day's exploration, and 
insisting that a permanent stream of good water was a sine qud 
nan, that no safe settlement could be supplied otherwise." 

One of the most extraordinary circumstances in connection 
with Mr. Fawkner s boasted settlement of Port Phillip is that 
he had no clear notions about anything of the kind. He was 
just then friendly with Batman, recognised his claim as first in 
the field, believed in the Association, had no intention to dispute 
their rights of purchase, and was not prepared to invade their 
territories. It is certain that, by his own acknowledgment in 
words, by his asserted directions, and by his acts, his mind was 
directed first and foremost to Western Port. Afterwards the 
party, failing there, might have a look at the neighbourhood of 
the old settlement of 1803, particularly the part near Arthur's 
Seat, of whose promising features he had spoken to the author 
nearly thirty years ago. 

Several times he has told the public that he directed his 
party to go to Western Port. It is declared that he contem- 
plated doing there what Batman had done in Port Phillip- 
make an arrangement with the natives. Much as be after** 
wards thought proper to ridicule Batman's Treaty, he was 
prepared, on his own showing, to do the same. In fact, in one 
letter he confessed to his purchase of lands from the natives. 
If, then, Mr. Fawkner sent his vessel to Western Port, and 
induced his companions to go there, while he remained behind 
in Launceston, he would have been entitled to the credit of 
founding Western Port, had the enterprise succeeded there. 
But Messrs. Jackson, Evans, and Co. forsaking that place, and 
instituting inquiries elsewhere, would show that Mr. Fawkner 
had made a miscalculation. Yet there was one other place he 


306 Port Phillip Settlement. 

wished to be examined — the eastern shore of Port Phillip Bay; 
near Arthur s Seat. 

" The Enterprise was conducted by Captain Hunter, as master 
of the vessel, along the southern channel, and the men landed 
each day to examine the country from five to ten miles inland, 
the vessel only mooring a short distance until they returned on 
board, and pushing a few miles further by night, in order to 
examine new lands the next day. No eligible spot was found on 
the east side of Port Phillip Bay!* 

Now, this was the course followed by Mr. Grimes in 1803. 
But the triangulation of Western Port, after the well-known 
surveys of Captain Wetherall, Captain Hovell, and Mr. Oxley, 
was quite unnecessary. It was evidently an afterthought of 
the narrator, as those of the party were ignorant of any such 
instructions from him. Mr. Arden, of the Australia Felix 
Gazette, has another version, which he gave a very few years 
after the voyage, saying : — ^ 

'* They first directed their course to Western Port ; but as the 
natives there were not sufficiently obliging to meet the strangers, 
and sell them their right of property to the adjacent lands, and 
as the country and port were not so inviting as was expected, 
the Enterprise bore up for Port Phillip." 

Whatever credit, therefore, is due to the first location on the 
Yarra Yarra, nothing of it could be placed to Mr. Fawkner's 
account, as he gave directions only for Western Port and the east 
shore of Port Phillip, and as he was perfectly innocent of the 
movements of his friends after their departure from Launceston. 
The whole credit must be given to Messrs. Lancey, Marr, S. and 
W. Jackson, with G. Evans. They declined Western Port and 
Arthur's Seat, and they, on their own private responsibility, 
selected a place of which they had heard so good an account 
from Captain Bobson as well as Batman. It may be that they 
were less timid than Mr. Fawkner, more regardless of the 
terrors of Batman's Association, or determined to look to their 
own individual interests while ignoring-their supposed patron. 

His reminiscences were given in lectures, 1862 and 1866, in 
Collingwood, a suburb of Melbourne, where he resided. The 
author had the pleasure of hearing the interesting narrative, 
and the retailing of some pleasant stories of the past, although 


Fawkner on the Yarra Yarra. 307 

they were rather broad caricatures of persons. He went over 
the old story of his own great share in deeds. It was not quite 
correct of him to say, " I came to try to prevent this being a 
squatting station/' nor that he placed his companions under the 
orders of Captain Lancey, as his representative. It was sad to 
hear him exclaim, after telUng some damaging tales of the 
family, ** Where are the Batmans now ? All vanished from the 
face of the earth ! " 

It was more pleasant to hear him speak of going ashore at 
the old place where he landed in 1803 ; of the tribe of three 
hundred " brought to tomahawk us all " ; of the blacks coming 
on, with tomahawks under their coats, and spears in their toes ; 
of his iMinging two horses, two cows, and two calves ; of his 
building his own chimneys ; of his fencing in ten acres, &c. 
But he did not say then that he, like Batman, had bought land 
of a native chief in Melbourne, nor would he write, as he did 
to the Sydney Colonist, May 2, 1836, about " the spot selected 
by me, and purchased by me from the aborigines." 

Mr. Fawkner, on July 18th, 1856, in a criticism of the 
author's work on Port Phillip, wrote thus of Mr. Batman to 
the Melbourne Herald: — 

" What did he do, or attempt to do ? He attempted to found 
a large squattocratic establishment. If Fawkner and others 
would have allowed Batman to rule, the colony would not have 
been settled, only squatter-seized. Fawkner invited all British 
subjects, and assisted many to settle. Batman only wanted land 
for himself, and Governor Arthur, and for the medley fourteen. 
Then Mr. Batman leaves on Indented Head the company's two 
or three men, and orders them to warn off all persons from his 
Umds, including the whole western side of Port Phillip Bay. 
One of his partners followed the Enterprise up to Melbourne, 
from Indented Head, and ordered off Captain Lancey and 
Fawkner's party, claiming this land as private property. Does 
this look like fostering or founding a new colony ? " 

At that time Mr. Fawkner was a Liberal, and espoused the 
anti-squatter side. He took another position afterwards. But 
he forgot that he had been a squatter himself. And had he 
succeeded at Western Port, it is probable his directions would 
have been given to warn off all intruders. It is not a little 
curious that all of the so-called anti-squatter Yarra party 

X 2 


Port Phillip Settlement. 

indulged in squatting practices. Mr. George Evans assured the 
author that his sole intention, going on board the Enterprise^ 
was to engage in sheep breeding. In Mr. Westgarth's Australia 
Felix Messrs. Fawkner, Evans, S. Jackson, and W. Jackson 
appear as squatters. Mr. Rusden writes : — " I once saw Fawk- 
ner's application for a licence (sqvxxUing licence). It was an 
amusing instance of the proverb, ' The buyer saith it is nought 1 ' 
He denounced the Bun as scrubby and worthless. He may have 
been right in so doing, but he scarcely showed sympathy enough 
afterwards towards fellow sufferers." Arden's history, noting 
the warning off of the Enterprise party by Mr. Wedge, adds : 
" The Messrs. Jackson, therefore, moved beyond the limits^ to 
which he laid claim, and sat down upon a tract of fine pastoral 
land, situated upon the Salt Water river, about twenty miles 
above its junction with the waters of the Yarra Yarra, and 
they still continue to occupy their original location.' 

In his letter to the Leader, Mr. Fawkner alludes to some 
subjects of his career, as : — 

" I sat down to form a new town ; went over to Tasmania to 
invite settlers ; took the Blacks there to impress them with a 
knowledge of our numbers and power ; and presented these men 
to the then Governor Sir George Arthur, and to Sir Alfred 
Stephen, now Chief Justice of Sydney. Batman ordered me 
off, and threatened to send his Sydney Blacks to drive me off. 
I replied ' Come and try your hand at it, and see how you will 
fare.' I thus opened the way for settlement. I did more ; I 
bought in 1837 five town lots — four at the first sale, and one at 
the second sale ; built upon them all. Bought largely of Crown 
lands ; established a large garden and orchard, and found fruit 
trees to supply the wants of many hundreds of the colonists. 
I have done something for the colony within the last thirty 

When in his seventy-fourth year, he proudly recounted in the 
Herald his deeds of the past, taking part in the opening of 
the Melbourne Exhibition of 1866. 

"After hearing the address of the committee read by Sil: 
Francis Murphy," said he, "and the nervous, eloquent reply 
of His Excellency the Governor, my thoughts wandered back 
some thirty-one years, and I was struck with wonder if it 
could be all true that the last thirty-one years had done all 
that I then saw. Exactly thirty-one years ago I was employed 

Fawkner on the Yarra Yarra. 309 

building for myself the first house erected in Melbourne. Some 
huts were erected in September by my 'man, and by the Grand 
Squatting Company's servants, under charge of Mr. Henry 
Batman, but these were only sod or turf huts. The whole 
population of Melbourne, or, in fact, of Port Phillip, then, 
October 1835, was only three of our party of six, who had 
agreed to settle at Port Phillip, viz., J. P. Fa\j'kner, Captain 
John Lancey second, Mr. George Evans third, one man of Evans', 
and three men servants of mine, with the master and crew of 
my vessel, in all ten males ; with Mrs. Fawkner and Mrs. 
Lancey, and Mary Gilbert, my blacksmith's wife, making in 
all thirteen males and three females; with Henry Batman, 
who had his wife, there were four European servants, and six 
Sydney Blacks, making a total of eighteen European males 
and four females ; and some five children of Henry Batman's 
and J. Lancey, and six aboriginals, in all thirty-three souls. 
This one day repays me for many a hard battle I have had to 
fight to help forward the land of my adoption." 

Mr. George Evans, one of his party, assured us, in several 
interviews that we had with him, that he came over in Mr. 
Fawkner's vessel, though not under his orders. He was sitting 
at his glass in Fawkner's Launceston Hotel, when in came 
Batman, upon his return from Port Phillip. Throwing up his 
arms in the impulsiveness of his nature, John exclaimed, " I am 
the greatest landowner in the world." The whole story of the 
trip was then given to the landlord and his guests. Evans 
turned round and said, " Well, Fawkner, what do you say about 
going to Port Phillip ? " 

Evans denies the story of the partnership, but admits that 
the blacksmith, who took a wife across, as well as Mr. Lancey, 
were engaged to act for Fawkner. The Messrs. Jackson and 
himself were not bound. The last words of the sick and 
returning Fawkner were, " Go on, my lads, do the best you can, 
but look out for fresh water." On the vessel reaching Western 
Port, the soil and grass were too bad to invite a stay. The 
party landed first in the whale-boat at the rocky point, now 
Williams Town, though going further up the Yarra in a search 
for fresh water. George and his man Evan Evans set about 
building the first house in the place. Marr, who had a public- 
house in Launceston, returned to look after his business, even- 
tually proceeding to Europe. In the Chili, Evans brought sheep 
from George Town, and began squatting like Mr. Samuel 

- v 

310 Port Phillip Settlemext. 

Jackson and his brother, though he found Mr. John Aitkin had 
got a flock here before him. While away on the trip, Fawkner's 
men had ploughed up and sown some land at the foot of Bat- 
man's Hill. According to George, Fawkner accepted twenty 
pounds from Batman's Association, and retired from the northern 
to the southern side of the Yarra. 

This was admitting the Batman right to the land on the site 
of Melbourne. The author was told by Fawkner himself that 
he had a crop on the flat below Emerald Hill, on the south 
bank. It was there, too, he bought from the chief of that part 
a right to the soil, the same as Batman had for the land across 
the stream. "Batmania township," though a joke of the 
Chronicle, on June 13th, 1835, was even then regarded as 
Batman's village, though four months before Fawkner's arrival. 
The Rev. J. T. Wood, the learned Australian historian and 
philosoph3r, rightly said that after Batman's work " the next 
settlement was by Mr. Fawkner." Not a single writer, save 
Mr. Fawkner himself, fails to do justice to John Batman as 
founder of Port Phillip settlement in 1835. 

Mr. Fawkner's tale of his Melbourne past may receive a 
slightly different version from the pen of old Captain Bobson, 
who took Batman over to Port Phillip, and who saw much sub- 
sequent service in that quarter. In his letter to the Launceston 
paper, Cornwall Chroiiicle, he deals with Mr. Fawkner's lectures 
in 1866 ; and, jealous for the honour of his old friend Batman^ 
he is rather hard in his criticism of the rival. 

" The reason." said he, " why Batman did not form the settle- 
ment on the Yarra was, that he thought it more prudent to 
leave the party at Indented Head until he should get more 
force from Launceston. He said he should most likely send a 
larger vessel over, and call and pick them up ; although he said 
he had made friends with most of the natives, they might get 
impatient for what he had promised them, and take advantage 
of those he was leaving behind. He said, "There is nothing 
like acting with caution ; it is not as if I was staying with them 
myself, and I think this the safest place, as I think you might 
be back before the natives could get this far from their battle- 
ground, which is 150 miles or more from this place." 

"Now then for Johnny Fawkner and his clipper schooner 
Enterprise, which he states sailed on the 27th June, and on the 
28th of August she was moored to the growing trees opposite 
what he called ' Pleasant Hill.' How did it lose its name from 

Fawknek on the Yakra Yarra. 311. 

such a personage as J. F. F., and assume the name of Batman's 
Hill ? That must be rather degrading. So, according to Mr. 
Fawkner's lecture, the Enterprise was two months in finding her 
way to Pleasant Hill, and after entering Port Phillip Heads, 
they struck her on one of the banks below Indented Head ; 
then she bumped and thumped for two days, and had it not 
been for the kind assistance of Mr. John Batman's party, who 
manned the whale-boat and went to their assistance, she would in 
all probability have been wrecked where she lay. However, Bat- 
man's party were the means of getting her oflF. They then showed 
the party in the clipper the direction. I went ; told them what 
had occurred — that Batman had made friends with the natives, 
and also told them about the Yarra, that we had watered there, 
&c. With this information they considered they were safe ; so 
on they went ; after their path was smoothed by Batman they 
had nothing to fear ; but if they had, what chance would Johnny 
have ? There was one Captain Lancey with his boat-hook to 
keep the natives oflF; Johnny with an old pistol without a 
trigger; the architect with his bevel; the plasterer with his 
trowel ; and the carpenter with his adze. Such was the equip- 
ments of the daring (?) adventurers, — as miserable a turnout as 
ever I saw; in fact, there were few who did not pity them, 
instead of setting the natives to kill them. There was Johnny 
mixing up clay, Lancey chopping up grass, not for horses, but 
to mix with the mortar. He talks about the sailors putting up 
a * shanting ' — it was a ' shanty,' what they call wattle and dab, 
that is, some poles stuck in the growing wattles, woven and 
dabbed with clay; afterwards they appeared to be a regular 
broken-down lot. 

" • Very well,' Johnny says, ' we are all right ; peace is made 
with the natives ; that is the greatest point gained ; we are 

" Well, Johnny goes on with his wattle and dab till the day 
of sale of the first land in Melbourne ; with Johnny's wattle 
and dab amongst the rest. ' Oh I ' says Johnny, ' if I lose this 
I am ruined.' So Johnny being one of the king's Johnny breed, 
he gets himself mounted, whether on a heap of wattle and dab 
or not I cannot say ; however, he mounted higher thau the 
rest, and lo ! what a pitiful look he gave around, particularly 
at the auctioneer. ' Now, gentlemen of happy homes, none of 
you will oppose me ; if you do I am ruined.' No one did. The 
look he gave would have touched the most hardened to pity 
The upset price was IQl. ; Johnny got it for a little more. A 
good day's work, for it was afterwards worth 30,000/. Then 
Johnny goes on to say that he read some very interesting things 
from Captain Hunter's diary. I don't think he read Captain 
Hunter's receipt for his wages in them, poor fellow ; he let them 

312 Port Phillip Settlement. 

run to the amount of upwards of 60/., and he told me he could 
not help it, and he could not get them. Now, if that was in 
the diary, I think he would skip that ; however, Johnny has kept 
his reminiscences a long time. I suppose he thinks because 
Batman is dead, that all the rest of his party are also for * 
ever silent, and he blows off his vain steam. But Johnny, you 
knew well, when you were giving your lecture, that Batman's 
party had been up the Yarra, for you could not help seeing a 
tree chopped nearly down, on the left-hand side, a long way 
above Pleasant Hill, as you call it, or Batman's Wharf, for we 
came up as far as the Falls. When going down again, we put 
in to cut a boat-hook staif, when one of the natives jokingly 
chopped a tree down near the water, and said that was Robson's 
tree. A good-sized one, too ; it was not easy to go past it in 
the dark without seeing it. It was in the same year, so I do 
not think that a top could grow on it to cause a mistake. 
Lauk ! I fancy you now mixing up your dab hut, Johnny ; you 
may thank that brave man, John Batman, for all that you have 
got, in making peace with the natives in the way he did, with 
the assistance of Providence, without any blood being spilt. For 
surely a patched-up lot like yours would soon have been van- 
quished, had he been a poor helpless thing like yourself; but 
no, he was a brave, athletic, daring, resolute man — feared no- 
thing, neither wind nor weather ; and Johnny, if you were the 
founder of Melbourne, as you liked to be styled, why did not 
Governor Bourke pay you a visit when at Melbourne, and make 
you a present of four cases of wine, as he did John Batman ? 
Ah ! well you might think it very cruel of him, but he did, for 
I tasted it, and it was excellent. But Johnny, instead of run- 
ning down John Batman, you ought to raise a monument to 
him, and him alone you ought to thank. His perseverance was 
beyond everything I ever saw. It might well be said he was the 
real founder of Melbourne, and I don't suppose there is a street 
named afker him. No, it is you, and the likes of you, that wish 
the honours he earned at the risk of his life may be buried with 
him in the grave. 

"Farewell, J. P. F., M. L. C, &c., &c. 

" P.S. To the Editor of the ' Coi^nwall Chronicle.* — Trusting you 
will give justice where justice is due, and not let that mischief- 
making animal, Fawkner, take the praise of what he does not 

merit, „ , ^i- 

" I am, Sir, 

" Your most obedient servant, 

" To the EdUw qf the * Cornwall ChronieU. ' " " ROBEBT RoBSON/' 

Mr. Fawkner ran foul of Mr. Lockhart Morton, who had 
Aimished the Yeoman with some interesting stories of the past. 

Fawkneb on the Yarra Yari^a. 813 

and who espoused the cause of Mr. Batman. In a- letter to the 
Age the critic was severely criticised by Mr. Fawkner, who 
imported some personalities that were foreign to the occasion. 
After showing that the Yarra and Geelong were known long 
before 1835, he adds : — 

" It was partly in consequence of my reading carefully Capt. 
Sturt's account of his journey from and to Sydney in 1829 and 
1830, and from the observations which I found on his map^ 
amongst others, 'Low, unbroken country of the south' — that 
I came over here." 

His detection of weaknesses in Batman's story leads him to 
object to Mr. Morton's apology for the explorer, that he meant 
comers and not boundaries where marks were made, when these 
marks are stated by Batman to have been made ''upon the 
trees growing along the boundaries of the said tract of land." 
He justifies one statement thus : — 

** And this account I know to be correct, for I took care to 
send with Mr. J. Batmnn one man that I could trust, who 
reported the whole transactions of the trip over, and its occur- 
rences up to the return to Launceston. Although Batman and 
his party would not let me pass over with them, a person was 
put in their way, employed by me, and I got a full report of all 
that occurred ; and to insure correctness, I obtained each man 
of Batman's after-account of what took place." 

Upon the strength of this information he then proceeds : — 

"Very generous of these would-be Lords-squcdters. They 
pretend to buy about a million acres of land for a few baubles, 
and then pretend, forsooth, to mark out a township, not on the 
land that they might fairly so plot out, if they had really bought 
it; but they add the right to take this over and above the 
quantity set forth in the so-called deeds. I again aflSrm, that 
the firm or company that sent Batman over only gave him one 
deed, a copy of which I obtained before he left Launceston. 
That deed he did get signed by the Jaga Jagas, at the Merri 
Creek, just outside the Fitzroy municipality. It was not 
interpreted to them, or explained, for these reasons — not one 
of the Sydney blacks knew the language of the men of this 
colony, and not one of the Sydney blacks could read, except 

The Yeoman of August 16th, 1862, remarked : — 

" We are not to be deceived or led away by any feelings of 
respect for him, or to be terrified by his abuse ; neither can we 


Port Phillip Settlement. 

be convinced by his rambling statements and assertions, because, 
like the lawyer who advocated a bad cause, he becomes angry 
and impertinent If, as Mr. Fawkner states, Mr. Gibson in 
1804 discovered and described the Yarra, then he, and not 
Mr. F., is entitled to the honour of having done so. Mr. 
Fawkner, throughout his long, rambling letter, tries to raise 
confusion and contradiction between Batman's dates and those 
printed in Mr. Bonwick's book; but any confusion in dates 
cannot affect the fact of Mr. Batman having been the first 
person who came here and began the permanent settlement 
of the colony of Victoria. 

''His party having sailed from Launceston did not enter 
Port Phillip till the 15th of August, 1835. Its leader, like 
Jonah, had intended to cross over, but the raging of a troubled 
sea made him also soon reach dry land again. If any credit in 
warfare is due at all, it is not to the soldier who, esconcing him- 
self behind a stone wall, shouts at the top of his voice *Qo along, 
my brave boys!' So it is the individuals of Mr. Fawkner s 
party, rather than himself, who are entitled to the credit of 
having come here on the 15th of August, 1835." 

A similar opinion led Garry Owen to write "that Batman was 
the first prospecter of Melbourne and Qeelong, and that not 
Fawkner, but Fawkner's party — five men, a woman, and the 
woman's cat — were the hondfde founders of the great metropolis." 

One of this party, while resident in London, read Mr. 
Fawkner's letter to the Avgu&, October 29th, 1868, in which, 
while noticing the author's supposed detraction of Batman's 
rival, he enters into the usual account of his own individual 
prowess. Mr. Jackson, who, with George Evans, had dropped 
down upon the Yarra unknown to Mr. Fawkner, read the oft- 
told tale, and replied to it. His story is so interesting, and the 
man's character was so respected, that we give his letter entire. 
He, like Batman, Henty, Fawkner, and the rest, having passed 
away from earthly scenes, will be long remembered among the 
gallant pioneers of Port Phillip. After quoting Mr. Fawkner's 
story, Mr. Jackson thus addressed the editor of the Argus: — 

" Now, sir, in justice to myself and those who have passed 
away from earthly scenes, I feel called on to make a few remarks 
on the above statement, and I trust I shall do so apart from any 
desire in the least to detract frOm any just claim of merit the 
writer of the said paragraph may be entitled to for whatever 
help he may have rendered in the founding of the now called 
City of Melbourne. 

Fawkjier on the Yarra Yarra. 315 

"It was early in the year 1835 that nimours came to 
LauDceston (Tasmania) that a fine unoccupied country, fit for 
pastoral purposes, was to be found across the intervening strait, 
and on this rumour the Fawkner party was formed. The names 
of those forming the party were J. P. Fawkner, J. Lancey, 
B. H. Marr, Q. Evans, and Samuel and William Jackson. The 
schooner Ilnterprise left the wharf at Launceston (Tasmania) 
with the object of finding the said land. Apart from the crew, 
the party on board were J. P. Fawkner, W. Jackson, G. Evans, 
B. H. Marr, and the commander, Lancey. After the vessel had 
left Georgetown and the Heads some short distance, she fell in 
with a roughish sa^ and this appears to have sickened Fawkner, 
for he caused the vessel to be put back to George Town, where 
he was landed. The vessel then proceeded on her voyage, 
Fawkner coming up to Launceston, where, much to my surprise, 
I met him. The vessel made and entered the Heads at Port 
Phillip in safety, and worked her way up the bay, and landed 
William Jackson and some others of the party on the beach, 
not very far from what is now called the Red BluflF, near 
Brighton, the vessel continuing her course up the bay. This 
party made their way through the bush, and crossed the Yarra 
river some distance above the Falls. During this trip they fell 
in with the natives, and ultimately camped on the site of the 
now city of Melbourne, and there awaited the arrival of the 
commander, Lancey, who brought the vessel up the Yarra to 
the basin at their camping-place. While there they had a 
visit from some of the Batman party, a company which sailed 
for Port Phillip before the Fawkner party, but who landed at 
Indented Head ; and it was on account of some of this party 
seeing the schooner JEnterprise in the bay that induced them to 
make their way in the direction the vessel had gone, and which 
ultimately led to the two parties meeting on the site now 
called Melbourne, where each party claimed the right of pos- 
session. After the Fawkner party had satisfied themselves as 
to the capabilities of the country, the whole of the Fawkner 
party returned in the JEnterprise to Launceston. There this 
party was broken up, and it was purely on the favourable 
account the party gave of the country on their return from 
Port Phillip which induced Fawkner some time afterwards to 
go over ; but that was not until the party had been mutually 
dissolved, so that each one was left to choose his future line of 
action in reference to revisiting the discovered land. 

" If what I have stated be facts, it is rather too much for the 
first pioneers of this party to rest quietly under the accusation 
of deserters, more especially when the charge comes from the ' 
only man of the party who at the very outset (on account of the 
roughish sea) left the rest to do the best they might, and face 
those dangers he evidently was afraid of. 

316 Port Phillip Settlement. 

" Now I challenge J. T. Fawkner on oath to declare that he 
was with the party, viz., W. Jackson, Q. Evans, R. H. Marr, and ' 
Lancey, at the time they first entered the Heads of Port Phillip 
Bay, landed on its shores, and made their way to the site of 
the present Melbourne. Therefore, with all his braggadocio, 
he can never justly claim a share in the dangers and hardships 
the first pioneers encountered, and to whom the credit of first 
landing is alone due ; and as to desertion of party, I think the 
saddle is on the right horse when he bears it. 

" I trust, sir, to your known sense of justice to give insertion 
to this letter. 

" I am. Sir, your obedient servant, 

"Samuel Jackson. 

"Yarba House, Baker Street, Enfield, 
MiddUaex, Dec, 2, 1868." 

Mr. Edward Henty, one of the founders of Portland, took 
occasion to rebuke Mr. Fawkner's assumptions, and his ignoring 
of Portland doings in 1834. This letter to the Herodd is else- 
where reported. A chai-acteristic reply soon appeared, signed 
John P. Fawkner, M.L.C. and J.P. 

" To Mr. Squatter E. Henty and brother Francis, per favour 
of the Daily Herald, 

" You impugn my account of being the pioneer of Port Phillip, 
and complain that my memory begins to fail, because a statement 
made in October, 1834, in a Launceston paper, was ignored by 
me in 1866. Firstly, I stated in my reminiscences given in St. 
George's Church, East Collingwood, in 1862, that the Hentys 
had a whaling and a squatting station in 1834; and the lecture 
was published in June, 1862, in the Age newspaper. The 
paragraph of Messrs. E. and F. Henty, relating to the settlement 
at Portland Bay, I never saw, consequently could not forget it. 
I knew that the Hentys had taken stock to Portland Bay, in 
Australia, but little was made known of what they were doing 
on shore ; in fact, the men employed whaling at Portland Bay 
complained that the Hentys would not allow any of them to 
see what they were about ; and I also had good proof of the 
exclusive habits of these mighty squatters, for they hired the 
schooner, Sally Anne, early in 1835, to take stores from Laun- 
ceston to their station at Portland Bay, and they peremptorily 
refused to allow the master of the SaUy Anne to earn some 
30/. by landing me and party at Port Phillip Bay, distant as 
it was from their station at Portland. They wanted only 
squatters, not settlers. Possibly E. and F. Henty did build a 
pretentious house and christen it ' Richmond ; ' but this was 
kept so secret that it was some years before the news reached 
me at the settlement I formed at Melbourne. If Mr. E. Henty 

Fawkner on the Yarra Yarra. 


read my account that he quotes from and impugns, he might have 
seen that I claim to have . settled in Port Phillip, but not at 
Portland Bay, in 1803, certainly prior to the arrival of this Mr. 
E. Henty. 1 assisted to build a cottage and to cultivate land 
in Port Phillip in the years 1803 and 1804, and perhaps Mr. 
E. Henty will allow that was prior to his seizing the hundreds 
of thousands of acres he pounced upon in the Portland Bay 
district, and also prior to the erection of his cottage so grandi- 
loquently styled Richmond." 

It was at the time of this correspondence that the letter, 
herein preserved as a memorial, was addressed to the author by 
the founder of Portland : — 

"MUNTHAM, 12th Dee,, 1866. 

" Dear Sir, — Your note reached me here only on Monday 
last, I am not therefore enabled to forward to you in time the 
information you require to complete your work on the early 
settlement of the colony of Port Phillip, but shall be happy to 
do so as soon as possible after my arrival at Portland ; but I may 
mention that it will take more time to do this than you think, 
as I can give * what no other person can do' the origin of the 
settlement of the colony. I am fully aware of Fawkner's treat- 
ment to Batman, and I am of opinion that the more he, J. P. 
Fawkner, moves in the matter, the worse will his position be. 
The latter portion of my letter in last week's Daily Herald 
should point out to him the necessity of keeping quiet. 

" Yours truly, 

"Edw» Henty. 

•' Jambb Bonwick, Esq., F.R.G.S., St. KUda.** 

As Mr. Fawkner, in his public lectures, not less than in his 
letters to the press, made use of Mr. Wedge's name in the same 
free and easy way he did the names of others, scattering fire- 
brands as he went along, the veteran surveyor of Port Phillip, 
and attached friend of John Batman, wrote to the author firom 
Leighland, Tasmania, 16th November, 1866, with certain notes 
of the past. He took our questions, and put thus his own 
answers " in juxtaposition " : — 

F. laughs to scorn B.'s 
marking trees, &c. 

F. denies 6. ever saw 
the Yaira, as one of them 
told F. eyerything. 

I have no doubt that B. went through the cere- 
mony of marking trees. 

6., on his retnm, crossed the swatnp below the 
present site of Melbonme, and made the Yarra near 
its junction with the Saltwater river, where there 
was either the yessel's boat waiting for him, or he 
caused one of the Sydney natives to swim the river 
and ffo to the vessel for the boat, which was lying 
near Williams Town. I forget ^hich. 

\ ' 


Port Phillip Settlement. 

F. says diat his party 
was organized on public 
groan£, to keep so fine 
a place from grasping 

If so, very patriotic ! but it is more than I give him 
credit for. 

F. says, after Treaty, 
aiog was produced, and 
B. proclaimed King John 
the First of Port PhiUip. 

I never heard of the proclamation. I doubt if B. 
had any grog beyond a small quantity in a pocket 
pistol, even u that. I know that I never had any in 
the journeys I made. 

F. admits plotting out 
sixty acres among the 
six of his party. Evans 
says " No.*' 

I don't see how he could have done this, inasmuch 
as he was Tiot with his party. He was left sea-sick 
at Greorge Town. Mr. Lancey said they intended to 
occupy some land on the south bank of the Yarra, 
a little above the Falls. 

"But Mr. T. H. W., 
under a pretence of being 
glad to see some country- 
men, obtained their con- 
fidence by pretending 
that he had nothing to 
do with B. and his co- 

There is some truth mixed with misrepresentation 
in what he says of myself — the latter very much pre- 
dominating. I had neither boat nor boat's crew with 
me, having travelled by land from Indented Head 
round by Creelong, passing to the west of Station 
Peak, crossing the Werribeo a little to the south- 
ward of Mount Cotterell, the Saltwater River about 
half a mile above the flow of the tide, and then 
straight to the present site of Melbourne ; so that it 
is obvious that I had no boat's crew. In fact, my 
party consisted of only one white man, two Sydney 
natives, and two of the Port Phillip aborigines. I 
never prttended that I " had nothing to do with B. 
and his party " in my interview with Mr. Lancey. 
As to "worming out the plan of the proceedings of 
the party," I was not then, nor am I now, aware that 
there was anything to "worm out." I took it for 
granted that their plan was to take possession of land 
as squatters. I received nothing but civility from 
Mr. Lancey. He received in go^ part the written 
paper I gave him, explaining that Batman had secured 
the land on the north side of the Yarra from the 
natives, and requested him not to interfere with it ; 
but whether I md it in the shape of a notice I cannot 
recollect, but probably it might be so. I believe it 
was on this occasion that Mr. I^ancey told me that 
they were going to take possession of land on the 
south side of the Yarra. Mr. F. does great injustice 
to Mr. Lancey in imputing to him the use of coarse 
and disgusting lan^iage, which I believe he was 
quite incapable of. So far from it that, on my leaving, 
he kindly furnished me with provisions enough to 
last me till I returned to the depdt at Indented Head. 
There was certainly no bad feeling evinced by Mr. 
Lancey by the use of such language as imputed to 
him by Mr. F. In fact, it is purely the invention of 
his own refined mind. 

F. said he got up his 
party of Evans and Co. 
in April. Evans told me 
he himself asked F. to 
join, after hearing B.'s 
account after his return. 

I am under the firm belief that neither F. nor any 
other person thou^t of going to Port Phillip till B. s 
return ; and I believe Evans to be right in what he 
told you. 

Fawkner on the Yarra Yarra. ^ 319 

F. says he gare his I don't know what took place with F. and his party 
party written instruc- at Qeorge Town, 
tions how to proceed 
when he himself was 
sea-sick, left at George 
Town. Evans says he 
only waved his hands 
and said, "Go on, my 

F. says he sent his Mr. Lancey told me that he had touched at 

party to settle Port Western Port. 
Phillip, and elsewhere 
admits he sent them to 
try first Western Port. 

F. says he had a copy I believe this to be very improbable, as B. had 

of the Deed from one none but his own farm servants with him ; and it is 
who was a spy on Bat- very unlikely that he would allow any document of 
man. the kind out of his own hands long enough to be 

copied without his observing it. But, if trae, in 
what character does he exhioit himself in avowing 
that he stooped to the employment of a spy ? 

By the courtesy of Mr. Wedge, the author is able to give an 
account of a transaction that throws some light upon the 
antagonism existing of old between Batmanites and Fawkner- 
ites, or that between the two parties of associated gentlemen 
and unassociated outsiders at Port Phillip. The correspond- 
ence concerns persons who have passed away from earth. While 
somewhat surprised to find that any Associationist, however 
persuaded of the justice of his claims, could contemplate the 
forcible expulsion of those who were no partners in the treaty 
with the natives, we must bear in mind that Batman's friends 
had borne the whole risk and charge of revealing the new 
country, and could not fail to be annoyed when they saw others 
profiting by their labours, and actually appropriating land 
believed by the Association to be their own. That one of the 
gentlest of men should have, for a single moment, listened to 
the proposal for force, may well excite our regret. 

The first news of the affair was conveyed in a letter from 
Mr. James Simpson, J.P., to Mr. Wedge, and is dated 17th 
September, 1835. The extract is as follows : — 

" Now, as to general measures, I observe an evident deter- 
mination on the part of and to have everything 

their own way. We have heard of Thompson's and Fawkner's 

parties, and we had a meeting on the subject. and 

were for hostile measures, at once setting on the blacks to eat 
them out, or drive, them out even. I at once held up my voice 

320 Port Phillip Settlement. 

against such imprudence, and was supported to the echo by 
Bannister, CoUicott, and the Robertsons. We, in the course of 
the day, saw young Thompson, who assured us that theter was 
no truth in the report of Fawkner's people having squatted. 
We then considered everything at rest. 

" Just then comes your letter to me, confirming the fact of 
an encroachment, and your sentiments so fully in accordance 
with the majority. I have forwarded your letter to Swanston, 
expressing my conviction of the absolute necessity for imme- 
diate steps to be taken to obtain the sentiments of the pro- 
prietors ; but I have heard of nothing being done yet. Oiily 
think, in the face of the letters and declarations made to the 
Home Government, for any sensible man (let alone professors 
of brotherly love for blackfellow) to attempt such a line of 

conduct as that proposed by 1 1 Your prediction would, as a 

matter of course, have been fully realized, and bloodshed and 
murder ushered in the dawn." 

Honest Wedge was aroused. He was on the spot, and was 
perfectly acquainted with all the irregular parties who had 
taken up their quarters on the Association's preserve. He knew 
the intentions of Mr. Fawkner and his little company, though 
the leader himself had not arrived. It had been given out 
that the intruders were only going to trade, and not to depas- 
ture stock. But it was pretty well understood that they did 
intend to take advantage of the free grass. Some, as Mr. 
Fawkner himself, thought to secure themselves by going through 
the form of purchasing lands from the Yarra Yarra tribe. These - 
sable ones were not too proud, accepting presents from anybody, 
and nodding consent to any bargain. Mr. Fawkner came over 
himself early in October, and it was subsequent to that, on 
October 13th, that Mr. Wedge protested against the contem- 
plated act of violence. 

His protest is addressed to the Association from Leighlands : — 

"Gentlemen, — Having learnt from Mr. Batman, since my 
return from New Holland, that he is on the point of proceeding 
to Port Phillip, with the intention of carrying into effect the 

recommendation of and , namely to remove Mr. 

Fawkner and those connected with him, through the instru- 
mentality of the natives, notwithstanding such a line of pro- 
ceeding will be contrary to the general voice of the gentlemen 
who were present at the meeting where made the pro- 
position, I, therefore, take the earliest opportunity of commu- 
nicating my dissent from taking such steps. 

Fawkner on the Yarra Tarra. 821 

" To follow it will lead- to the most disastrous results, not only 
militating against the probability of the success of the enter- 
prise, which, at the present moment, assumes so promising an 
aspect, but it will assuredly lead to bloodshed and murder, 
which, if once commenced, there is no foreseeing its termina- 
tion. It will at once open the eyes of the natives, and teach 
them the power they possess ; and, knowing that power, they 
will not fail to use it against us, in conmion with others, when- 
ever the impulse of their feeling may prompt them to do so. 
Suspicion will be infused into the minds of the natives as to 
the friendly intentions of the whites in general towards them, 
which will counteract the happy results that have been the 
consequence up to the present moment of the friendly inter- 
course which was fortunately effected by Mr. Batman in June 

''For the foregoing reasons I solemnly protest against the 
measures about to be carried into effect. 

" It will afford a iust pretext for the interference of the 
Government, who will, very properly under such circumstances, 
refuse to confirm our title to the land ceded to us by the native 
chiefs ; the fact being an evidence of the evil consequences that 
will be likely to result from the influence we shall possess over 
the minds of the natives." 

This interesting letter, so marked by sound prudence and 
good feeling, could not fail to produce its effect. But the pro- 
test was no idle one. On the same day, October 13th, Mr. 
Wedge wrote to Mr. Batman himself as follows : — 

"Dear Batman, — I have remained in town in the hope of 
seeing you this morning. I have just learnt that there is no 
probability of your being here till the afternoon ; and as it is 
inconvenient for me to wait longer in town, I think it is just 
and fair towards you to state candidly this course. 

" The line of proceeding that you have chalked out in refer- 
ence to the occupation by Messrs. Fawkner and Co. is so con- 
trary to my ideas on the subject, that I shall protest against 
it, a copy of which I inclose. However, to obviate the con- 
sequences likely to result from the differences of opinion, and 
the dictatorial attitude assumed by some of the parties, which 
I never could submit to, I will offer my share for sale to the 
proprietors generally, or to any of them individually who may 
choose to purchase it. The price I will take for it is one 
thousand pounds. I will also take upon myself to offer Mr. 
Simpson's share for the same price, provided he has not already 
sold it, or made arrangements to do so. 

** The enterprise is a good one, and I am unwilling to abandon 

822 Port Phillip Settlement. 

it. I therefore make another proposition if the former one be 
rejected : that a mode of division of the land should be fixed 
on, which I propose to be thus. You to have your choice ; and 
if No. 1 be chosen, to commence at the north-east extremity, 
fixing the line of boundary where the quantity of the shares 
of those who may concur with you in opinion may take it to. 
If No. 2 be your choice, to commence at the southern ex- 
tremity, and going in a similar way in a contrary direction, 
whichever lot you may leave for those who think with me, to 
be conveyed to us ; and a deed of separation of partnership be 
prepared. Each party will then be able to pursue their own 
plans, &c. 

" You have my authority to make this communication to all 
or any of the parties concerned. I write in haste. With 
comp** to Mrs. Batman, and others of your family, 

" I remain, &c." 

Matters must have gone to a considerable length for one so 
deeply interested in the movement to be ready to withdraw 
from it. Mr. Wedge's decision was worthy of him. To retire 
from an undertaking which then appeared leading on to fortune 
was a lesser evil than complicity with an act as impolitic as it 
was unmanly. He assumed the part of Abraham with Lot, and 
was ready to go to the south if the others preferred the north. 

Whether Mr. Wedge's protest and letter accomplished the 
object, or the angry feelings of the two impulsive gentlemen 
cooled down with timely consideration, it is satisfactory to know 
that the project of expulsion was abandoned, and so the Associ- 
ation was preserved intact. Tlie very next day, October 14tli, 
the stout surveyor, who never lost temper with Batman himself, 
wrote thus to his friend and Tasmanian neighbour : — 

" De^ Batman, — ^My mind is considerably relieved by your 
assurance that you do not intend to use force to remove Fawkner 
and Co." 

He then goes on to say> " I assure you you are mistaken in 
supposing that I have heard any strange tales since I have 
returned. If I had heard anything I should not have regarded 
any reports ; at all events, I should have made you acquainted 
with what had been said. I ground my protest on what you 
yourself told me, together with what I learnt on my arrival 
home, by a letter in Hobart Town, in which I learnt that such a 
proposition to remove the squatters had been made." 

It was in this same letter that he seeks to settle another 
little misunderstanding about the Wild White Man^ for whose 

Fawkner on the Yarra Tarra. 323 

freedom Wedge had drawn up a petition. He therefore 
remarks : — 

" I could not shut my eyes or be deaf to the remark you made 
respecting Buckley obtaining his pardon through your influence 
with the Lieutenant-Governor. If the pardon was through your 
influence every credit is due to you for it, and no one could feel 
under greater obligation to you than myself. If, on the other 
hand, you assume that which I consider emanated entirely from 
the correct and humane view which the Lieutenant-Governor 
took of the representation that was made by me, I do not think 
it fair towards others of the proprietors who may reside at Duti- 
galla, for it certainly looks as though you intended to get the 
whole credit to yourself, and by which to obtain an undue iu- 
fluence over the mind of Buckley, and through him over the 
minds of the natives. 

" You stated your intention of issuing the provisions to the 
natives monthly instead of daily, as hitherto. It is contrary to 
the line of policy I think ought to be followed ; for, unless they 
get regularly fed they will lose confidence in us, and instead of 
the good feeling being perpetual they will take offence and no 
longer be friendly towards us. In order that we should work 
together in concert it is necessary that we should fully know 
each other's views and intentions ; for this reason I have been 
so explicit." 

The good sense and cordial feeling of the worthy surveyor are 
hereby well exhibited. Something decisive was done, and 
mainly in consequence of his action. The Association held a 
meeting, and gave directions to Batman, their manager, as to 
the course to be pursued. This document was signed by Messrs. 
Gellibrand, Swanston, Wedge, Sams, Cottrell, and Connelly. 
Among these were the two gentlemen who at first, in their dis- 
pleasure against the intruders, were for summary proceedings. 
The document is headed 

"Memorandum for Mr. Batman. 

" It will be expedient to show Mr. Fawkner the chart, and 
also the description in the grant from the natives to him, in 
order to satisfy him that the land occupied by his people belongs 
to the Association. 

" To offer him every assistance through the natives in pro- 
curing other land for him, and also in removing his goods, &c., 
and cdso in the erection of other buildings, and in cultivating 
even to a larger extent than done by them ; to protect their 
present crops, gardens, &c. 

Y 2 

324 Port Philup Settlement. 

" If the parties set us at defiance it will then be expedient to 
fence them ofif, so that they may not further trespass ; and, by 
annoying them in that manner, compel them to leave ; but on 
no occasion to offer actual violence unless in self-defence. 

** It is presumed that when Mr. Batman arrives with such a 
powerful force the parties will retire. They are as much 
interested in conciliating the natives as we are, and it will be 
desirable to have a mutual understanding for them to pay a 
proportion of tribute, and also to enter into an agreement for 
mutual protection." 

The parties known then as " Fawkner and Co." had wedged 
themselves in too securely to be shifted, and were not to be in- 
convenienced by any fencing-in while the Yarra ran in front of 
them. Not even the arrival of Mr. Batman " with such a power- 
ful force " was likely to alarm them, as the numbers of the 
irregular immigrants were so rapidly accumulating, that the 
intruders were more likely to eat out the Association than be 
eaten out by them. A Washington Irving, who told us so 
good a story about the conflict of parties in the infant days of 
New York, might have left us a pleasant sketch of the pre- 
Melboume times, and the rights of possession alongside the 
Yarra Yarra, 

But it is quite time to close the record of disputes, and to 
return to a few facts concerning Mr. Faw)^ner's connection with 
the Settlement. 

The following advertisements and shipping notices refer 
to the venture : — 

" The JSrUerprise, daily expected from Sydney, will be imme- 
diately laid on for New Holland, to convey an exploring party 
of gentlemen to the *New country.' Mr. Batman, with a 
number of attendants, including the Sydney natives that have 
some time resided here, left Qeorge Town this week, in a small 
vessel commanded by Mr. T. B. Harwood, for the purpose of 
exploring part of the same country. (May 21, 1836.) ' 

" (Sep. 9, 1835) For Port Phillip. The fast-sailing schooner 
Enterprise will saU for the above Port in about ten days from 
this date. Persons of moderate capital wishing to migrate to a 
fertile, open country, possessing a most enviable climate and 
immense plains, will find this a most desirable opportunity ; full 
particulars will be open to those who may engage to settle there 
on application to John Fawkner, junr." 

Fawkner on the Yarra Tarra. 325 

'* Departures. On Friday (Sep. 25) the schooner Enterprise^ 
Hunter, for Port Phillip, with a general cargo. Passengers — 
Mr. and Mrs. Fawkner, Mrs. Lancey and two children, Mr. 
Watkins, John Wilkins, Thomas Morgan." 

The voyage was not so rough a one as that experienced by 
Batman, who left at the stormy end of autumn. Gaining the 
port, the Enterprise was placed as the general trader of the 
Settlement, and was the foremost of all the colonial crafts in the 
introduction of sheep to the new country. Mr. Fawkner, in- 
terested in the welfare of his ship Enterprise, the primitive 
carrier, put some stakes in the Yarra as guidance for that and 
other vessels. The public spirit of the man, facetiously styled 
the King of Pascoeville, is thus alluded to in the Cornwall 
Chronicle of Launceston, March 5th, 1836 : — 

" The King of Pascoeville has issued a proclamation contain- 
ing directions for sailing into his harbour of (he has omitted to 
mention its name) which we extract from the True Colorvist, for 
the information of whom it may concern. We cannot vouch for 
the correctness of the directions — ^but parties interested may 
presume upon their being so, as the august gentleman has conde- 
scended to place the beacons according to his own directions, 
and has been public spirited enough to pay the expense attend- 
ing it out of his private purse, and has not drairud the public 
treasury, as some kings would have done. It may be presumed 
that his own labour has been exercised upon the occasion, and, as 
a matter of course, the correctness of his document may be relied 

'' As soon as you enter the harbour, steer for Arthur's Seat, 
keeping the heads a little open (rather incomprehensible) ; this 
is the eastern channel. Keep dose to the shore near Arthur's 
Seat, for that is the deepest water ; an immense shoal extends 
from the middle passage to within about three miles of Arthur's 
Seat. After passing this place, you are clear of the shoal, and 
may sail up to the head of llie Bay. Keep in four fathoms, 
under the west shore — west being the prevailing wind here — 
and to find the river, the beacons placed by my directions, and 
at my expense. wiU direct any .ersoS ; kee/on L west side of 
them. The Eastern River is the one the Settlement is formed 
on, but the Western (Yarra Yarra) (Saltwater River) runs 
furthest up." 

Six months after arrival he wrote to the Sydmey Colonist an 
account of the Settlement, but more at length in a private letter. 
Mr. Fawkner's long and interesting letter, about the early times, 

326 Port Phillip Settlement. 

was inserted in the Sydriey Colonist, September 22, 1836. It 
occurs in the communication from Mr. Henry Hawson, of New- 
foundland, to the Attorney-General of that American colony, 
detailing an account of his visit to the Cape and to Australia. 
While at King George's Sound, he heard the wonderful story 
about Port Phillip. The captain of the Caledonia had then come 
into the Sound with news of that " earthly Paradise." He was 
the bearer of a letter to his brother, Mr. Symers, of the Sound, 
from Mr. Fawkner. This letter is then given by the corre- 
spondent, Mr. Hawson : — 

"Pasooe Vale, Fawkner's River, Port Philup, 
'*New South Wales, May 2, 1886. 

" My dear Sm,-^If I understood you right, you wish me to 
inform you on the following points, viz., How long it is since the 
Port was colonized ? The date of the present attempt to settle 
here? Why this spot on which we are settled was chosen? 
And my opinion as to the climate, the land, and its 
capabilities ? 

" In October, 1803, 1 entered this harbour, under the orders of 
Colonel Collins, who did not even attempt to examine the 
country, but landed at Point Nepean, and early the next year, 
1804, removed the whole of the people (with the exception of 
a few runaway prisoners) over to Hobart Town, Van Diemen's 
Land, at that time uncultivated. 

'' Early in 1835, myself and others contemplated and attempted 
a survey of this Port and Western Port ; among others, Mr. 
John Batman and some gentlemen of Van Diemen's Land. Mr. 
Batman came direct to Port Phillip, and bought a piece of land, 
extending, as per Flinders's chart, from the western head along 
the coast about twenty miles westward, from whence he sti-uck 
an imaginary line nearly east, which line was again joined by a 
line commencing from the northern side of a small river, which 
runs nearly due east, and is laid down in the same chart, at the 
head of Port Phillip Bay. His purchase follows the river upon 
the right bank, from about nine miles from the Bay head, and 
then runs forty miles north-east, and ends where the eastern 
line from the western coast intersects it This land was parted 
amongst fourteen or fifteen persons originally, and was divided 
into seventeen shares of about 100,000 acres each (?). It takes in 
the whole of the western side of this immense Bay, a sea line of, 
I think, about 120 miles in length. I caused Western Port and 
the whole of the eastern side of this Bay to be strictly surveyed, 
by examining the land about twenty miles inland all along this 
tract, and the good land found was only in very small quantities. 
Upon the return of my vessel and people, I immediately came 

Fawkneb on the Yarra Yarra. 327 

over to- this delightful land to settle, and so well pleased am I 
with it, that please God here I shall end my days. It is some- 
what singular that I should arrive on the anniversary of the first 
attempt to settle here, that is, on the 10th October, 1835 ; 
landed the first horses and cattle, ploughed the first land, and 
planted the first com, potatoes, &c., all which thrive well. Indian 
com will not be a very sure crop, but all seeds and plants that 
are congenial to Britain will flourish here in great luxuriance ; 
this is the reason I fixed to settle here. The places named by 
me (!) had been surveyed and examined at my sole expense, and 
no eligible spot found until we reached this place. I refer to 
Flinders's chart. The river which runs easterly lying at the 
northern end of the Bay, at about six miles from the said Bay, 
by following the river, but by crossing the neck of land, at or 
about three miles east of the river's mouth, the walk is about 
two miles to the site above referred to, and called the Township. 
The river becomes fresh at this point, and is most excellent 
water, with a fall, at low tide, of 2J to 3 feet. The land for 
miles round the town is of most excellent quality, and the grass 
very good, the land very thickly covered with it. A great part 
of the land in the vicinity of the Township is very rich alluvial 
soil ; and from the eastern river to the western, and as far back 
to the north and north-east as has yet been surveyed, it is far 
superior to any in Van Diemen's Land. I believe from forty to 
fifty miles is the utmost that has been travelled in this 
direction. The river has a bar on which there is not more than 
nine feet of water at high tide j but the bar once passed, we find 
from three to seven fathoms up to the Township ; and the river 
has this peculiarity, that it is as deep at the very bank as in 
the middle of the stream, for three miles downwards, and is 
from 80 to 100 yards wide, with a basin at the Township 
capable of containing 109 small vessels, such as would come 
safely over the bar. My vessel, drawing eight feet three inches 
of water, has come up, and she lay close to the bank, and landed ' 
my goods from a single plank laid over the gangway, and took in 
the firewood for the vessel's use from the trees overhanging. 

"Mr. Wedge, who was out also, on discovery for Messrs. 
Batman and Co., fell in with my people soon after they had 
settled here, and became so enraptured with the place, that he 
instantly returned to Indented Head, and removed the so-called 
Company's establishment, where they had settled, and commenced 
operations up to the spot selected by me, and purchased by me 

FROM the aborigines. 

" My people left Launceston in my schooner Entetyrise in 
July, 1835 — Mr. Batman's party in June. In September this 
Settlement may be said to have commenced ; since which time 
many persons have travelled over most portions of this highly 

328 Port Phillip Settlement. 

favoured land, in various directions, chiefly from west to north- 
east, and they all agree that the land is unrivalled for sheep 
and cattle. A great part of it is plains, some of vast extent, 
and with but few trees ; other parts are lightly timbered, and 
bear a strong resemblance to a gentleman's park kept for orna- 
ment. Several fine lakes have been discovered, and the 
natives tell of many more. Some fine rivers have also been 
found to the westward, and in Captain Sturt's chart are laid 
down numerous rivers to the north and north-east, between 
this port and the river Morumbidgee, which, according to 
this authority, lies 180 miles due north, and runs from east to 
west 100 miles, and the land lying in the direction of this 
Settlement is described to be quite free fr^m mountams. A 
river has been found to the westward which disembogues itself 
into the sea, west of Port Phillip Heads, about 20 miles, and is 
said by one William Buckley (who was a runaway convict left 
here by Governor ColUns in 1803, and never seen by white men 
until August 1835) to run nearly parallel to the east through 
beautifiil plains for upwards of 200 miles, and has its rise about 
15 miles frx)m the sea, near Portland Bay, where the Messrs. 
Henty and others have settled. Now, the extent of country that 
has been visited is almost wholly fitted for grazing, and that 
most admirably so— fine plains, beautiful rises, and the land 
free from underwood, except in small patches near the rivers, 
and containB a great many native wells, ponds, and lagoons, all 
which the natives are willing to show. Some forests of timber 
have been found which will be available for building purposes, 
but they are at a distance from the Township, and I fear can be 
brought by land carriage only. 

" The natives are a quiet, and, I should say, a cowardly race — 
treacherous in their own quarrels, they invariably kill their 
enemies by surprise, and at ni&:ht They perform little offices 
for the whites, ^ch a« showing the countf^,Vunting, and fishing, 
and bringing in wood and water for provisions or clothes. 

" The Company, and also myself, have given a large quantity 
of blankets, clothes, tomahawks, knives, and provisions to them 
since we landed, and there have been about 340 to 360 assembled 
here at one time. 

'' The weather during the past summer has been veiy moist. 
Bain has fallen at intervals not exceeding fourteen days. From 
the immense basin, the Bay of Port Phillip, and its shallowness, 
we derive constant and copious dews, which it is ascertained 
have extended 200 miles westward, and as far north as we have 
penetrated. The grass, all through the summer, has retained 
its delightful greenness and goodness, and every vegetable, 
and also grain, that I have tried and seen tried by others, has 
prospered well, viz., Indian com (middling), pumpkins, m^ons, 

Fawkner on the Yarra Yarra. 329 

cucumbers, water melons, potatoes, peas, beans, carrots, onions, 
and nearly all the culinary vegetables — and also wheat; and 
these sown on the ground immediately after it was first broken 
up, after its uninterrupted repose for past ages. The heat on 
some days has been great ; the thermometer being frequently 
fix)m 90** to 94* in the shade, but every hot day has been suc- 
ceeded by several cooler days, and the glass has never, from 
the month of September last to this date (2nd May), fallen in 
the house below 38°, though we have had in this time six or 
seven frosty mornings. 

'' Fish are plentiful here, and of several sorts, both in fresh 
and salt water. The snapper is the most abundant, weighing 
from two to twenty-five pounds. Wild fowl and kangaroo 
abound, and, I must add, the native dog is rather too 

"About 15,000 sheep have been landed here, 30 horses, 100 
head of cattle ; pigs, rabbits, and other domestic stock rather 
largely. This is a correct statement for your information, but 
written in great haste. 

" Dear Sir, yours, 

"John Fascoe Fawkner." 

Mr. Hawson, after reciting this letter, has the following 
remarks, dated August 1836, written from Launceston, being 
on a visit there : — 

"With regard to Port Phillip, the testimony which I have 
obtained here respecting it, confirms the most favourable 
opinion I had conceived of it; indeed, the fact that the 
settlers who have gone there were among the most wealthy 
in Van Diemen's Land, and have already transported thither 
30,000 sheep and great numbers of homed cattle, &c., must 
convince the most sceptical. No information has, however, 
been obtained as to the intentions of Government respecting 
this ' Garden of Eden ' ; and, although Governor Bounce has 
issued a proclamation declaring the territory to be within the 
limits of his Government, he has not felt himself authorised 
to appoint peace officers, or to send a military force there : the 
consequence has been, that some of the stockkeepers in the 
country have committed offences against the blacks, who have 
retaliated by killing four of the settlers — a prelude, I fear, to 
constant war between the parties, until the blacks shall be ex- 
terminated, or driven far into the interior, a most horrible 
alternative ; but there appears no other, except the abandon- 
ment of the country, and leaving the natives in their present 
savage and ignorant state, unless a Government be speedily 
appointed, and effective measures taken to punish the whites. 

330 Port Phillip Settlement. 


who were the first aggressors, in order to convince the natives 
that the outrages were committed by unauthorised individuals, 
and that they must look with confidence to protection from 

" It appears that the man Buckley, mentioned in Mr. Fawk- 
ner's letter, had held out to him by the settlers that a free 

Eardon would be granted to him, and other liberal rewards, if 
e would use his influence with the natives to preserve a 
good understanding between them and the whites. This he 
agreed to ; but the supreme authority reftised to sanction the 
compact ; and he has consequently stirred them up to avenge 
the wrongs which he supposes himself to have sustained. He 
is now their leader, and possesses uncontrolled authority over 
the tribe. It is said that he has several wives of the native 
women, and a great number of children by them ; the natural 
consequence, therefore, of his considering himself to be still a 
convict and an outlaw, will be the most determined opposition 
to the British settlers ; and no doubt many lives will be lost, 
until the Government adopt measures to satisfy him. 

" I fear that these occurrences will prevent my settling in 
this delightful country — ^not that I would wish to avoid my 
share of expense and personal risk, if the quarrel was just ; 
but, can it be reconciled to the principles of the Christian reli- 
gion, of common sense, or of any system of morals — that 
foreigners can take possession of the land of others, be the 
first aggressors ? but, because they have power to do so, follow 
up the first offence by murdering and exterminating the natives, 
the proprietors of the soil ? I fear that I should feel like an 
accessory to murder, and a receiver of stolen goods, knowing 
them to be stolen." 

With this pleasing reference to the early days of Port Phillip 
we must close the important chapter of Mr. Fawkner's Tarra 
Yarra home. 

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The quiet occupation of pastures around Port Phillip Bay by 

^ a score of Van Diemen's Land people would not appear a very 

important affair to some. Quite a number of men — sealers* 
whalers, and others — had for years sojourned on islands and the 

^ coast, even cultivating the soil, without attracting Government 

attention. Kangaroo Island, Encounter Bay, Portland Bay, 

'^ King's Island, Western Port, &c., had their little settlements in 

peace. But no sooner had Batman cried out '' Eureka I " than 

i^ \ the thunder of a Sydney Proclamation became the commence- 

'^ ment of a storm of despatches. 

The first in the field was Colonel Arthur, Lieutenant- 
Governor of Van Diemen's Land. His Hobart Town letter to 
the Right Hon. T. Spring Rice, colonial minister, was dated 

^ July 4th, 1835 :— 

" I have the honour to inclose for your information the copy 

of a letter which I have received from Mr. John Batman, a 

settler in this country, who has recently visited the opposite 

^ I coast of New Holland, examined a portion of the country in the 

,, I vicinity of Port Phillip, and, on behalf of an Association, of 

c/ 1 which it appears he is the agent, purchased 600,000 acres of 

'/" m ' 1^^^ irom. one of the native tribes. 

"The settlement of this district would unquestionably be 
highly advantageous to Van Diemen's Land. Its extensive 
plains and rich pastures are capable of supporting large herds of 
cattle and sheep, and, as the distance between the two coasts 
might be traversed by a steam-boat in about twenty-four hours, 
it might very rapidly be covered with flocks and herds from 
this colony. Indeed, I have no doubt that the foundation would 

332 Port Phillip Settlement. 

soon be laid for a very beneficial intercourse between the two 

"It would aflFord me, therefore, great pleasure, were the 
facilities which might be aflforded by this Government rendered 
available in the settlement of this very valuable territory, which 
might, I submit, with a view to economy, be placed temporarilv 
under the jurisdiction of the supreme Court of Van Diemen s 

" As regards the request of the Association, that their feoff- 
ment in the land in question by the aborigines shall be confirmed 
by the Crown, I am constrained, notwithstanding the great 
responsibility of the gentlemen interested in the arrangement, 
to observe that it does not appear to me that it can be advocated 
on any vaUd grounds. 

" The land was taken possession of by Colonel Collins, for the 
Crown, previous to the settlement of Van Diemen's Land, and, 
subsequently, by Captain Wright, in 1826, when a military 
post was, for a period, established there. Messrs. Hovell and 
Hume, moreover, of whose journey I have at present an 
imperfect account before me, explored the country in 1824 
and 1823. 

« It appears, also, from a comparison of the descriptions given 
by Messrs. Hovell and Hume and Mr. Batman, that they had 
met with several tribes in the same district, who distinguish it 
by different names — a circumstance which would render the 
original ownership doubtful, even were it true in contemplation 
of law, that a migratory savage tribe, consisting of, perhaps, 
thirty or forty individuals, roaming over an almost unlimited 
extent of country, could acquire such a property in the soil as to 
be able to convey it so effectfully as to confer upon the purchaser 
any right of possession which would be recognised in our courts 
of law. 

" In order, however, that the subject may be fully before His 
Majesty's Government, I have thought it proper to transmit a 
copy of the Deed of Transfer which was executed by the native 

" Mr. Batman is an enterprising settler. He has acted with 
prudence as well as humanity in making it his first effort to 
conciliate the native tribe with whom he negotiated, and I trust 
that the good feeling which he appears to have established will 
be perpetuated. Were a liberal grant of land given him in the 
country he has explored, I think the gift would be well be- 
stowed ; but, as regards the confirmation of his treaty with the 
natives, I have plainly told him I could not hold out the 
slightest prospect of its being favourably considered, and the 
Colonial Secretary has addressed to him the letter, of which the 
accompanying is a copy, wherein you will perceive that I have 

Official Correspondence. 333 

refrained from encouraging the hope that the scheme of the 
Association would be successful, so far, at least, as the investiture 
of the land is in question. 

"As the Company will probably proceed at once to take 
possession, and as other individuals may follow their example 
for the purpose of occupying the adjoining land on the sea- 
coast, I cannot, I most respectfully submit, be made acquainted 
at too early a period with the views which His Majesty's 
Government entertain upon this very important subject/' 

Colonel Arthur was rather in a hurry to send off the news 
without waiting to know the mind of his superiors at Sydney. 
The latter resented the neglect, ignored the proceedings of his 
subordinate, though crediting him with sinister designs, and 
issued forth his Proclamation. Communication between Sydney 
and Hobart Town in that day was slow and at long intervals. 
Although Colonel Arthur informed his chief of the matter, it 
was after he had written to London ; so that August was well 
advanced before regular tidings reached Port Jackson. Hence 
the date of the " warning off" was only August 26th. 

" Proclamation. 

"Whereas it hath been represented to me that divers of 
His Majesty's subjects have taken possession of lands of the 
Crown, within the limits of this colony, under the pretence 
of a treaty, bargain, or contract, for the purchase thereof, 
with the aboriginal natives ; Now, therefore, I, the Governor, 
in virtue and in exercise of the power and authority in me 
vested, do hereby proclaim and notify to all His Majesty's 
subjects and others whom it may concern, that every such 
treaty, bargain, and contract with the aboriginal natives, as 
aforesaid, for the possession, title, or claim to any lands lying 
and being within itxe limits of the Government of the colony of 
New South Wales, as the same are laid down and defined by 
His Majesty's Commission, that is to say, from the Northern 
Cape, or extremity of the coast, called Cape York, in the latitude 
of 10 degrees 37 minutes south, to the southern extremity of 
the said territory of New South Wales, or Wilson's Promontory, 
in the latitude of 39 degrees J min. south, and embracing all 
the country inland to the westward, as far as the 129th degree 
of east longitude, reckoning from the meridian of Greenwich, 
including all the islands adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, within 
the latitude aforesaid, and including also Norfolk Island, is 
void, as against the rights of the Crown ; and that all persons 
who shall be found in possession of any such lands as aforesaid, 

334 Port Phillip Settlement. 

without the licence or authority of His Majesty's Government 
for such purpose first had and obtained, will be considered as 
trespassers, and liable to be dealt with in like manner as other 
intruders upon the vacant lands of the Crown within the said 

" Given under my hand and seal at Government House, 
Sydney, this 26th day of August, 1835. 

" (Signed) Richard Bourke. 
" (By His Excellency's command) 

''(Signed) Alexander McLeay. 

" God save the King." 

Yet even then Sir Richard did not write oflf at once to 
London, for the Mail was neither expeditious nor certain, 
keeping correspondents months before being able to reply to 
a letter. Meanwhile, and before any knowledge of the terrible 
Proclamation could reach the Derwent, Colonel Arthur wrote 
again. He addressed Lord Glenelg on August 28th. While 
stating that he had informed Governor Bourke of the event, he 
admitted that no official acknowledgment had come from- 
Sydney. There appears something like running with the hare 
and holding with the hounds in the following laudation of the 
Associationists, and denunciation of their acts : — 

" I do them the justice to say that they are a very respectable, 
and, in respect of pecuniary matters, responsible body ; but, at 
the same time, I cannot avoid expressing the hope that this fine 
tract of countary may not be ceded to them to be converted into 
.-a sheep walk and cattle-run by absentee proprietors." 

Then follows the polite intimation that he is ready to incur 
the trouble and responsibility of looking after the servants of 
the absentees : — 

" I have not'seen any copy of Sir Richard Bourke's commis- 
sion, and therefore do not know whether Port Phillip is included 
within His Excellency's jurisdiction ; if it be, all that is proper, 
will be, I am persuaded, speedilv done for asserting the rights of 
the Crown ; but if the country be not within the boundaries of 
the Government of New South Wales, then I recommend that 
a military ofiicer be sent /rom hence, as Commandant, with a small 
detachment, and that a surveyor, a medical officer, and a mis- 
sionary be employed under him, with a few convicts of long 
approved good character, as mechanics and labourers, to form 
the (Settlement, to establish a friendly intercourse with the 

Official Correspondence. 335 

natives, and to duly control any ' Squatters ' ; that an accurate 
knowledge of the country may be gained, and all the necessary 
preliminaries adjusted for its occupation, under such regulations 
as His Majesty's Government may deem most desirable ; by 
this means, at a very trifling expense, which may be defrayed 
from (MT land revenue, the country may be occupied without 
those sad reverses which checked emigration to Swan Eiver." 

This very cautious and clever despatch from the astute Arthur 
was very different from that sent by his superior, one who had 
seen much service on the battle-field. Sir Richard was an 
admirable politician, but candid in speech and deed. His mind 
was then exercised about intruders upon Crown Lands both at 
Twofold Bay and Port Phillip, and this subject was presented to 
the Secretary for the Colonies, Lord Glenelg. 

10£^ OcUiber, 1835. 

" Mt Lord, — Being informed by the Lieutenant-Governor of 
Van Diemen's Land, that several British subjects connected with 
that colony, have taken possession of a tract of land on the 
south-western (?) coast of New Holland, in virtue of a treaty 
with a tribe of aboriginal natives, it becomes my duty to report 
to your Lordship this intrusion upon part of the territory 
described in the Commission which I have the honour to hold 
from His Majesty. The particulars are contained in the corre- 
spondence which has passed between Mr. Batman, a settler of 
Van Diemen's Land, and the Government of that Island. Copies 
of that correspondence received by me from Lieutenant-Governor 
Arthur accompany this despatch. From Mr. Batman's letter, 
your Lordship will perceive, that this gentleman, and his 
associates, rest their claim to a recognition by His Majesty's 
Government of their treaty with the natives, rather on the 
merits of their undertaking, than upon any title to the land 
which that treaty is presumed to convey. It also appears, that 
Colonel Arthur, without holding out any prospect of such recogni- 
tion, has undertaken to submit their case to His Majesty's 
Government, and entertains a favourable opinion of the parties. 
To him, therefore, as the officer under whose immediate charge 
these parties reside, I would leave the representation of every 
particular regarding their personal character, views, and resources; 
but I have considered it incumbent on me immediately to 
protest against any consequences, derogatory to the rights of 
the British Crown, that might be imagined to flow from the 
alleged treaty. I have accordingly issued, with the advice of 
the Executive Council of this Colony, a Proclamation, of which 

336 Port Philup Settlement. 

I transmit a copy. It is not my present intention, and I shall 
probably not see cause, to take any other step in the matter, 
until I have the honour to receive your Lordship's commands 
upon the subject. In the meantime, there is little doubt that 
Mr. Batman and his party will continue to convey cattle to 
Port Phillip, and to invest capital in building and other im- 
provements at that place. Having thus briefly laid before 
your Lordship. the present state and probable progress of this 
unauthorised expedition, I may perhaps be permitted to offer 
some observations upon the policy of allowing the occupation 
of land so distant from the seat of Qovemment, and other 
located parts of the colony. To Mr. Batman's proceeding, 
there appears weighty objections, not only in the irregular mode 
he has had recourse to for obtaining land, but on account of 
the absence of any provision for the control and government of 
the inhabitants of the intended settlement It is hopeless to 
expect that any precautions he can adopt, in the choice of 
shepherds and labourers, will preclude occasional disorders 
among a population wholly released from legal restraint. In 
such emergencies there will be no accessible authority, military 
or civil. The undertaking must, sooner or later, prove a total 
failure, unless supported by the interference and protection of 
Government. If this support be afforded, it is but reasonable 
that the Settlement should contribute to the revenue of the 
Government which upholds it; and that its lands should be 
acquired under the general regulations of the colony, or under 
such others as His Msgesty's Government may think fit to 

''I have before had occasion to submit to the Secretary 
of State the opinion I entertain of the propriety of extending, 
in a southern direction, the limits within which land may be 
acquired from the Crown in New South Wales. On this subject 
I beg leave to refer your Lordship to my despatch of the 4th 
July, 1834, No. 59, in which I communicated a proposal of 
Mr. James Atkinson, for the settlement of Twofold Bay, by 
means of emigration from the North of Ireland. Though I 
objected to Mr. Atkinson's plan, in many particulars, i ex- 
pressed myself in favour of the limits of location as far as 
Twofold Bay, provided the lands were to be disposed of under 
the existing regulations. 

"In this opinion I was not honoured with the concur- 
rence of your Lordship's predecessor. The Earl of Aberdeen 
has stated, in a despatch of the 25th of December last, that 
'His Majesty's Government are not prepared to authorise 
a measure, the consequences of which would be to spread 
over a still further extent of territory a population which 
it was the object of the late land regulations to concentrate.' 

OFFICIAL Correspondence. 


" After this intimation, it is only on account of the question 
being forced upon me, by the transaction I have related, that I am 
induced to revert to the subject. In recurring to it, I am bound 
to state, that further reflection and the advantages of personal 
observation afforded by a recent excursion to Twofold Bay and 
the neighbouring country, have more than ever impressed me 
with the correctness of the opinions expressed in my despatch 
of July, 1834. On the excursion alluded to I found the greater 
part of the vast tract of fertile land lying between the country 
of St. Vincent and Twofold Bay depastured by flocks and herds 
attended by shepherds and stockmen ; the pastures, already 
contributing largely to the wealth of the colony, and exceeding 
in importance many of the districts where land is disposable 
by sale or on lease. An export of live stock from Twofold Bay 
to Van Diemen's Land had commenced, and is likely to increase, 
atid a considerable supply of grain and other agricultural pro* 
duce would, in all probability, be furnished from that district 
for the Sydney market, in the event of land there being thrown 
open to purchase. Admitting, as every reasonable person must, 
that a certain degree of concentration is necessary for the 
advancement of wealth and civilisation ; and that it enables 
government to become at once eflScient and economical, I 
cannot avoid perceiving the peculiarities which in this colony 
render it impolitic, and even impossible, to restrain dispersion 
within limits which would be expedient elsewhere. The wool 
of New South Wales forms at present, and is likely long to 
continue, its chief wealth. It is only by a free range over the 
wide expanse of native herbage which the colony affords that 
the production of this staple article can be upheld at its present 
rate of increase in quantity, or standard of value in quality. 
The proprietors of thousands of acres already find it necessary, 
equally with the poorer settlers, to send large flocks beyond the 
present boundary of location, to preserve them in health 
throughout the year. The colonists must otherwise restrain 
the increase or endeavour to raise artificial food for their stock. 

" Whilst nature presents all around an unlimited supply of 
the most wholesome nutriment, either course would seem a per- 
verse rejection of the bounty of Providence ; and the latter 
would certainly require more labour than can be obtained in the 
colony, or immigration profitably supply. Independently of 
these powerful reasons for allowing dispersion, it is not to be 
disguised that the Government is unable to prevent it. No 
adequate measures could be resorted to for the general and per* 
manent removal of intruders from waste lands, without incur- 
ring, probably, a greater expense than would be sufficient to 
extend a large share of the control and protection of Govern- 
ment over the country they desire to occupy. 


338 PoBT Phillip Settlement. 

"I do not, however, mean to admit .the claim of every 
wanderer in the search of pasture to the protection of a civil or 
military force. The question I would beg leave to submit is 
fiimply this : how may this Government turn to the best ad- 
vantage of the colony a state of things it cannot wholly 
interdict ? It may, I would suggest, be found practicable, by 
means of the sale of land, in situations peculiarly advantageous, 
however distant from other locations, to procure the means of 
diminishing the evils of dispersion ; and, by establishing town- 
ships and ports, and facilitating the intercourse between the 
remote and more settled districts of this vast territory, to pro-* 
vide, though but imperfectly, centres of civilisation and govern- 
ment, and thus gradually to extend the power of order and 
social union to the most distant part of the wilderness. 

" Such are the considerations which rendered me unwilling to 
oppose the settlement of Twofold Bay. The same considerations 
induce me to believe that it will be more desirable to impose 
reasonable conditions on Mr. Batman and his associates than to 
insist upon their abandoning their undertaking. It would be 
proposed that a township be marked out, both at Twofold Bay 
and in some eligible spot on the coast to which Mr. Batman's 
party has proceeded. The town allotments and a portion of the 
adjoining territory might then be declared open to location, 
according to the existing regulations ; and I have no doubt that 
in both places considerable purchases would at once be made. 
The proceeds might be at first excepted from the rule which 
assigns this branch of revenue as a fund for encouraging emigra- 
tion, and applied in the beginning towards defraying the 
expenses attendant upon the new settlement. The outlay 
would chiefly be required for the survey and allotment of the 
land, the appointment of the police magistrates, with a con- 
stabulary force and an officer of customs. I would also earnestly 
recommend that a provision be made for schools, in which the 
children of persons of different religious tenets may be instructed 
without distinction, on the plan now adopted in Ireland. The 
means of education being secured, I should feel disposed to leave 
it to the voluntary contributions of the inhabitants to provide 
for churches and clergy. To aid all alike, where the creeds are 
various, seems impossible, and a partial distribution of the public 
funds appears nearly allied to injustice. In the event of a 
township being established at Twofold Bay it would be desirable 
to form a road from thence to Maneroo rlains, a part of which 
would pass over a rocky range of mountains. The remoteness of 
this work would render it a very desirable employment to the 
convicts of the second class, sent here to labour for a certain 
portion on the pujblic works, before assignment to settlers. 

I beg leave to observe here, that it is in consideration of the 


Official Correspondence. 339 

capital expended by Mr. Batman and his associates that I am 
, inclined to recommend so early an occupation of Port Phillip. 
The measure would otherwise have appeared to me as pre- 
mature, and I should have preferred witnessing the success of 
the nearer establishment at Twofold Bay before suggesting the 
more distant settlement. It is with reference to Van Diemen's 
Land chiefly that the occupation of Port Phillip may be 
regarded as advantageous. I consider Twofold Bay to be ripe 
for settlement, as sufficient advantages are already derived from 
the lands behind it to admit of their purchase (by the occupiers 
and others) being rendered the means of the gradual introduc- 
tion of the various institutions of society. To refrain from their 
introduction through the fear of encouraging dispersion is, I am 
persuaded, a fallacious policy. The dispersion will go on not- 
withstanding the discouragement, but accompanied by much 
evil that might be prevented by the guidance and control of 
authority opportunely introduced. 

'* In conclusion I beg leave to remark that the unauthorised 
occupation of land beyond the limits assigned by my predecessor 
for tne location of settlers has been so long permitted, or, more 
properly speaking, connived at, and has extended over such 
large tracts of country, as to render it necessary that Govern- 
ment should not delay taking some measures for asserting the 
right of the Crown over these lands. I propose, therefore, to 
let them to their present occupiers, being of good character, 
upon yearly leases at a nominal rent, intimating to the lessees 
that they are not thereby to consider themselves entitled to any 
greater protection from the Government than they have hitherto 

" I have, &c., 

" Richard BouRKE. 

" The Bight ffonoiMrable Lord Glbkelo, ete,y etc.^ etc" 

In this despatch he contended for the rights of the Crown, 

then defied by Batman and Co., though conscious those parties 

meant to continue their illegal course. He fears trouble from 

this irregular proceeding, if only on police gi-ounds. His 

difficulty lay in attempting to follow out the prescribed Home 

policy of checking dispersion of settlers, with his conviction that 

only failure must result from such interference. Stock would 

increase, and free grass was plentiful enough. The case is 

put frankly and wisely before the Minister. Interested in 

the people he governed, sensible of the almost boundless 

resources of Australia, he seems to plead for greater freedom of 

action, and the prudence, if not necessity, of acknowledging 

Settlements thus illegally formed. 

z 2 

40 Port Phillip Settlement. 

Meanwhile a communication arrived at Government House, 
Hobart Town, representing, in the cause of law and order, the 
urgent need of oflScial recognition of the new territory, and 
calling forth more despatches. 

This letter, addressed to Colonel Arthur, is in the name of 
John Batman, and is dated from Launceston, 25th October : — 

" Sir, — I had the honour, in the month of July last, of trans- 
mitting you a report of my proceedings at Port Phillip for the 
purpose of eflfecting an amicable settlement with the natives of 
that part of New Holland, and of the treaty concluded by me 
for the occupation of a certain tract of country under a certain 
annual tribute, and to be used for pastoral purposes, and in 
that report I communicated to your Excellency the names of the 
gentlemen who are associated with me in forming the Settlement. 

** At that time it was considered by the members of the Asso- 
ciation that the territory in question was beyond the jurisdiction 
of His Excellency the Governor of New South Wales, and the 
report was therefore addressed to your Excellency for the pur- 
pose of being transmitted to the British Government, under the 
expectation of the Crown confirming the land thus ceded upon 
such terms as might appear equitable and just; and for that 
purpose full instructions were transmitted by a gentleman of 
the Association to responsible agents in London to represent 
their interests with the British Government, and to fulfil such 
conditions as they might agree with the Crown for a full con- 
firmation or grant of the territory in question ; but, as it now 
appears by the Govemor-in-Chiefs Proclamation that His 
Excellency exercises jurisdiction over the territory in question 
as part of New South Wales, I have the honour to solicit that 
you will be pleased to fully inform His Excellency General 
Bourke of the proposed plans of the Association, their capacity 
to carry them into execution, and the principles under which 
they wish to establish a colony at Port Phillip. 

"I have the honour to inform your Excellency that the 
Association does not possess any community of interest, but the 
stock will be the separate property of each party shipping, and 
be placed upon separate establishments ; and that so soon as 
the pleasure of the British Government is known, with respect 
to the terms upon which the territory may be granted, that 
a division of the lands will then be formally made, and from 
that period each party will have a separate and distinct perma- 
nent establishment, furnishing a proportion of Quit Rent or 
Tribute payable for the same, and also of other expenses which 
will be necessarily imposed for carrying the objects of civilisation 
into eflfect. 


Official Correspondence. ^ 341 

** The parties have engaged two ships' for the transmission of 
stores and supplies, and in the course of six months they will 
have property there to the value of twenty-five thousand pounds, 
at least ; and there can be little doubt that in a very short space 
of time a colony of great importance, not only to the mother 
country, but to both the colonies, will be established. 

"The Association has already felt some inconvenience by 
individuals who have recently quitted the port of Launceston, 
and, in defiance of our occupation of the land from the natives, 
have fixed themselves on part of the territory, and serious 
apprehensions are entertained that they will materially check, 
if not destroy, the principles of colonisation, unless controlled 
by a competent authority ; and I am therefore requested most 
respectfully to suggest the propriety of proper authority being 
given to some individual, for the purpose of enabling the members 
of the Association to carry on unimpeded the principles of coloni- 
sation, until the pleasure of the British Government may be 
communicated and maturer plans adopted. And I am author- 
ised to add, that the members of the Association will most 
cheerfully defray such portion of the expense attendant upon 
this measure as the local governments may consider fair and 

' " I propose immediately to proceed with my family to Port 
Phillip, to take, with Mr. Wedge, the direction of the affairs of 
the Association, and the arrangements with the native tribesj 
and as the vessels will be engaged for the next six months in 
conveying stock from this port to Port Phillip, the Associatioti 
will be happy to carry into efiFect any arrangements for build- 
ings for such persons as the Government may think fit to send. 

" I have the honour of reporting the progress made by the 
Association since July last with the native tribes. From that 
period up to the commencement of this month, when Mr. Wedge 
left Port Phillip, the intercourse has been kept up upon the 
most friendly terms, and from eighty to a hundred natives have 
been clothed and supplied with daily rations at the expense of 
the Association. The natives have been partially occupied in 
habits of industry, and I have not the least hesitation in affirm- 
ing that if no unforeseen obstacles occur, a gradual system of 
civilisation will obtain. 

" In the report, the Association communicated their intention 
of engaging a surgeon and catechist; this pledge has been 
realised, and Doctor Thomson proceeds with me to execute 
those duties. 

(Signed) "John Batman." 

Mr. Montagu, as Secretary of Van Diemen's Land, sent on 
Mr. Batman's letter to Governor Bourke, at the same time. 

r^^ -r:^ 

342 Port Phillip Settlement. . 

November 14th, 1835, forwarding the views of Lieut-Governor 

When this arrived in Sydney an Executive Council was held, 
December l7th, and the following Minute appeared : — 

*' His Excellency the (Jovemor, in reference to the proceedings 
on the 22nd of August last, laid before the Council a letter 
from the Colonial Secretary of Van Diemen's Land, transmitting, 
by desire of Lieut.-Govemor Arthur, a copy of a letter from 
Mr. John Batman, one of the members of the community 
recently formed for the purpose of taking possession of land at 
Port Phillip, and remarlong for the consideration of His Excel- 
lency the Governor, that it would appear to be evident that the 
Association in question is already suffering from the want of 
some superintending authority competent to protect as well as 
to control the parties who may settle in the adjacent territory. 
Lieut-Governor Arthur is further induced to draw the attention 
of the Government of New South Wales to the situation of these 
emigrants, because the vicinity of the territory of Dutigalla to 
Van Diemen's Land, and the easy navigation between the opposite 
coasts, will, it may be feared, hold out strong inducement to the 
convicts to endeavour to escape thither, in the hope, if no 
government be constituted, of leading a lawless life, or of 
receiving high wages in a situation where labour will unques- 
tionably for a long period bear a very high value. 

"It is further stated that Lieut-Governor Arthur would 
have great pleasure in co-operating with the Government for 
the purpose of conferring upon the settlers at Dutigalla some 
of the more indispensable advantages which can only be enjoyed 
when there is a power to carry laws into force, and to protect 
the lives and properties of the individuals constituting the 

" His Excellency the (Jovernor also laid upon the table some 
extracts from his despatch of the 10th of October, 1835, to the 
Right Hon. Lord Viscount Glenelg, reporting the unauthorised 
intrusion of Mr. Batman and those associated with him upon 
the Crown lands at Port Phillip, and the measures which this 
Government have deemed it necessary to take upon the occasion 
for securing the rights of the Crown. 

"The Council niUy concurred in the opinions expressed by 
His Excellency the Governor in his above-mentioned despatch, 
and therefore recommended that no measures be taken for 
affording the protection requested by Mr. Batman, and recom- 
meuded by Lieut-Governor Arthur, until His Majesty's com- 
mands be received as to the ultimate disposal of the Settlement 

"Deas Thomson, 

" Colonial Secretary." 

Official Corr£SK>ndekce. 343 

The two Governors were thus at issue. Had General Bourke 
known then that Colonel Arthur was intriguing with the 
Ministry to get Port Phillip under his own hand, his warm- 
blooded nature would have been even more excited. The 
ultimate discovery of that doubtful dealing was unfortunate for 
Batman and his Association, as the Governor of New South 
Wales became the personal opponent of those who were the 
prot4g^ of Colonel Arthur. Not even the removal of the 
latter, soon after, moliiied the evident displeasure borne by the 
Govemor-in-Chief against the reputed friends of Government 
House in Hobart Town. The day after the Council meeting, 
Sir Richard had to write home upon Judge Burton's report on 
crime in the colony, and took occasion to refer again to such 
squatters as Batman, saying : — 

" Another cause to which. Mr. Burton attributes the prevalence 
of crime in this colony is the occupation of Crown lands by un- 
authorised and improper persons. To state this complaint in 
general terms is far easier than to grapple with the difficulties 
which beset the subject, and to suggest an appropriate remedy. 
The persons to whom Mr. Burton evidently alludes, familiarly 
callea sqttatters, are the objects of great animosity on the part 
of the wealthier settlers. As regards, however, the unauthorised 
occupation of waste lands, it must be confessed that these 
squatters are only following in the steps of all the most in- 
fluential and unexceptionable colonists, whose cattle and sheep 
45tations are everywhere to be found side by side with those of 
the obnoxious squatter, and held by no better title. This being 
the case, it is evident that no partial regulation can with pro- 
priety be introduced, and I find it extremely difficult to devise 
any plan that will satisfactorily meet the circumstances of both 
the classes I have mentioned. . . • 

'' The most desirable plan appears to be to let or license the 
land at a small rent. My chief difficulty is a fear I cannot 
but entertain lest even those wealthier settlers, who are most 
loud in their complaints of the squatter^ should prefer their 
present unauthorised title to a lawful one, acquired at even 
the smallest expense. If the more respectable class should 
come forward voluntarily, it might be comparatively easy 
through them to compel the rest, or to take measures for 
ejecting the defaulters. But it cannot be disguised that to 
attempt enforcing any system against the general will^ would 
be no less a hopeless than an ungracious task." 

Three days further on, December 21st, another despatch was 


3i4 - Port' Phillip SETTLEMENT; 

written, inclosing Colonel Arthur's letter and Batman's memo- 
rial. Then he gives his views upon the situation : — 

"Considering, however, that Mr. Batman's occupation is 
wholly unauthorised, and having reference to the instruction 
received from the Earl of Aberdeen (in his Lordship's despatch 
of the 23rd December, 1834) to discountenance every under- 
taking having a tendency to disperse the population of the 
colony, I do not feel myself at liberty to extend to these 
adventurers even that degree of assistance which Colonel 
Arthur appears inclined to concede, without the direct permis- 
sion of His Majesty's Government." 

Mr. Wedge's interesting narrative of his visit to Port Phillip 
gave another occasion for a despatch from Colonel Arthur, 
January 28th, 1836, in which he said : — 

"As Dutigalla is so near Van Diemen's Land, and espe- 
cially the northern part of the island, it was my wish to have 
taken an active interest in its settlement. I have since, how- 
ever, perceived, from the perusal of a Proclamation by Sir 
Richard Bourke, defining the limits of his government, that it 
forms an integral portion of the colony of New South Wales, 
and of course, I have, in consequence, determined not to inter- 
fere with His Excellency's jurisdiction, retaining, as I neverthe- 
less continue to do, the strongest desire that some form of 
government should be established there." 

He thus bowed to the inexorable logic of facts, and answered 
his own first letter to the Home Ministry. The postscript of 
the despatch says : — " I beg to inclose also a plan of the country 
which Mr. Wedge has presented to me; it will afford the 
Secretary of State some idea of the fine tract of sheep-land 
upon which Messrs. Batman have squatted." 

In a subsequent address to his Legislative Council, he wrote : 

" An important incident to which, on account of the influence 
it may exert over the future condition of the colony, I cannot 
but draw your attention, is the discovery of so large an extent 
of pasture land on the coast of New Holland. How far the 
future opening of that territory to the enterprise of immigrants, 
when His Majesty's Government shall be pleased to sanction it, 
may affect the landed interests in this colony, it is at present 
impossible to determine/' 

Official Correspondence. 345 

It was while all parties were awaiting the decision of London, 
that the following letter was written by the Governor s secre- 
tary in Sydney, in reply to an application from a Launceston 
settler ; — 

" In reply to your memorial of the 24th ultimo, soliciting land 
at Port Phillip, I am directed by His Excellency, Sir Richard 
Bourke, to inform you that the late unauthorised possession of 
land at that place, by Mr. Batman and others, has been re- 
ported to His Majesty's Government, and His if ajesty's com- 
mands requested ; and that, under these circtimstances, it is 
impossible to give you permission to occupy any part of the 
land in question upon any terms whatever." 

His Majesty's pleasure was at length made known. The first 
to send the news, Colonel Arthur got the earliest reply ; which 
was dated from Downing Street, 23rd January, 1836 : — 

" Sir, — I have received your despatch (No. 53) of the 4th 
July last, on the subject of a negotiation which had been entered 
into by Mr. Batman, on behalf of an association of persons 
resident in Van Diemen's Land, for the acquisition from one of 
the native tribes of a large portion of land, consisting of 600,000 
acres, in the vicinity of Port Phillip, for the purpose of forming 
an agricultural establishment. Without entering at present 
into the question of the right possessed by the chiefs, who were 
the contracting parties, to the territory of which they agreed to 
dispose, or of the justice and fairness of the terms of the 
arrangement, I shall simply advert to the practical question 
at issue, namely, the expediency of confirming the grant to the 
Association. AH schemes for making settlements by private 
individuals or companies in the unlocated districts of Australia 
have of late years been discouraged by His Majesty's Govern- 
ment, as leading to fresh establishments, involving the mother 
country in an indefinite expense, and exposing both the natives 
and the new settlers to many dangers and calamities. And 
there is so much of prudence and of justice, and, I think I may 
add, of humanity, in this policy, that I do not feel disposed to 
depart from it in the present instance. 

** The conduct of Mr. Batman towards the natives has been 
such as to make me regret that I find it my duty not to advise 
His Majesty to sanction the proceedings of that gentleman and 
his associates. 

"Your proposal of forming, under the auspices of your 
Government, a settlement in the vicinity of Port Phillip, and of 
placing it under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Van 


> ' I 

346 Port -Phillip Settlement. 

Diemen's Land, requires and shall receive every consideration. 
At present, I shall only observe, that it seems to me open to 
some very serious objections. 

" I am, &c., 

(Signed) " Glenelg. 

*' Liexttenant-Goternob Abthtjr, etc,, etc,** 

A paper in the Record Office, dated 17th December, 1835, 
though without signature (probably the work of Mr. Hay, Under 
Secretary), evidently formed the basis of the despatch sent to 
the colony, and adverse to the Batman claims. The paper is 
simply headed " 415, V. Diemen's Land " : — 

" This project of Mr. Bateman, although it may in the end be 
advantageous to the Australian colonies, cannot be approved 
without manifest danger of introducing a most inconvenient 

** All schemes of this kind have been of late years discoun- 
tenanced, as leading continually to the establishment of fresh 
settlements and fresh expenditure— and if every one were 
allowed to follow his own inclination, by selecting a fit place of 
residence on the coast of New Holland, all hope of restricting 
the limits of our settlements in that quarter must be at once 

" Colonel Arthur seems to be aware of the objection which 
would be made at home to the confirmation of Mr. Bateman in 
the land which he has purchased. This transaction cannot, of 
course, be recognised by the Home Government, if for no other 
reason, I apprehend, since it would militate against the engage- 
ments entered into with the South Australian Company. 

"The Secretary of State may perhaps desire to know the 
particulars of the abortive attempt to make a Government 
Settlement at Western Port in the year — . The report then 
made of the qualities of the soil was very different, if I mistake 
not, from that Mr. Bateman." 

The writer had, perhaps, obscure notions of the geography of 
New Holland, or he would not have been puzzled about the 
reports concerning Western Port, and those relating to Port 

To further the consideration of Batman's claims, the Colonial 
Office furnished a precis of information about Western Port, and 
the applications made for its settlement. 

After the statement that Earl Bathurst advised the course, 

Official' Correspokdexce. 


March Ist, 1826, from an apprehension he would settle there, we 
learn that Mr. Huskisson directed the removal on February 4th, 
1827. Better tidings of the place coming, the Secretary of 
State recalled his instructions, though too late to stay the 
parties there. Allusion is then made to Colonel Yemer's 
application for purchase of land at Twofold Bay, This was 
negatived ; and, as the paper remarks, " Lord Aberdeen, in his 
despatch to Sir R. Bourke (25th December, 1834), expressed a 
decided objection to the extension of the colony beyond its 
present limits, on the ground that such a measure would tend 
directly to counteract and defeat one principal object which 
the Government had in view in the late change in the land 
reg\ilations, viz., the concentration of the colonists," &c. 
Again — 

" Sir R. Bourke was further directed to discourage gene- 
rally any projects of the like kind, as ' many schemes of that 
nature, ostensibly for the purpose of encouraging emigra- 
tion, but in reality for the benent of the projectors,' had ^en 
encouraged by H. M.'s Government without realising those 
prospects of public good which could alone justify the extra- 
ordinary privileges granted to private individuals. 

" In addition to the reasons stated in Mr. Hay's minute as 
militating against the encouragement of Mr. Bateman's project 
may be urged the strong objection, that a settlement of the 
nature of that proposed would be almost certain soon to become 
an asylum for runaway convicts, over whom the settlers could 
have no power or controL 

'' Mr. Bateman seems to be the person whose name appears 
in conjunction with that of Mr. Robinson in Colonel Arthur's 
former despatch on the subject of the aborigines ; and it may, 
perhaps, be worthy of consideration whether his services might 
not be very valuable in dealing with the natives in South 
Australia, if he could be prevailed upon to go to that settlement. 
As it is understood that Mr. Parker, the future judge of Southern 
Australia, contemplates proceeding thither md Van Diemen's 
Land, he might, perhaps, be usefully employed in entering into 
some negotiation with Mr. Bateman." 

General Bourke had to wait nearly three months more before 
the answer to his own important despatch arrived. The rough 
draft is preserved in London, having many corrections. Thus 
''speculators desiring to effect settlements" is changed into 
*' private adventurers " ; and " religious, moral, literary estab- 


Port Phillip Settlement. 

lishments" to "religious and scholastic/' The whole reads 

thus : — 

" Downing Street, April 18, 1836. 

*' Sir, — I have received your despatch, dated the 10th October 
last, No. 99, reporting the proceedings of Mr. Batman and 
others at Port Phillip and Twofold Bay, and suggesting 
measures which ought to be adopted to meet this new exigency 
in the affairs of your Government. 

" I approve of the course which you have hitherto pursued 
on this subject, and especially of your Proclamation maintain- 
ing the right of the Crown to the soil on which these new 
settlements have been effected. Although many circumstances 
have continued to render me anxious that the aborigines should 
be placed under a zealous and effective protection, and that 
their rights should be studiously defended, I yet believe that 
we should consult very ill for the real welfare of that helpless 
and unfortunate race, by recognising in them any right to 
alienate to private adventurers the land of the colony. It is 
indeed enough to observe, that such a concession would subvert 
the foundation on which all proprietary rights in New South 
Wales at present rest, and defeat a large part of the most 
important regulations of the Local Government. 

'' It is altogether superfluous to enter on the present occasion 
into any discussion or formal statement of the principles which 
form the basis of the rule upon which land is disposed of in the 
Australian colonies. The views of the Earl of Kipon have 
been adopted and enforced by every one of his successors. The 
object of Lord Ripon's rules was to counteract the tendency 
of settlers in a new country to disperse themselves as detached 
families over its surface, and to promote the co-operation of the 
inhabitants in all works of public utility, and in the employ- 
ment of labour and capital. But to suppose Lord Bipon could 
have contemplated the concentration of the people as the 
ultimate end he aimed at, or that he regarded it in any other 
light than as the means through which other great social 
purposes were to be attained, would indeed be entirely to mis- 
apprehend his policy. He deprecated dispersion in so far as it 
might interfere with the advancement of the colony in wealth, 
and other social advantages, and with the maintenance of those 
religious and scholastic establishments to which he was so justly 
attached, but he would no less have deprecated concentration 
at the expense of any one of those objects. If, however, my 
information be correct, the eastern shores of New Holland, at 
least, on the southern half of that great region so far as they 
have hitherto been explored, whether coastwise or inland, 
present a physical impediment to the close concentration of the 
inhabitants, with which it would be only futile to contend by 

Official Correspondence. 349 

human laws. The age of manufacturing industry is of course 
remote. Even tillage can scarcely be pursued aavantageously 
to any great extent," while the whole surface of the country 
exhibits a range of sheep-walks, which, though not naturally 
fertile, are yet, when occupied in large masses, of almost un- 
rivalled value for the production of the finest description of 
wool. New South Wales is not only marked by nature for a 
pastoral country, but for a country of which the pasturage must, 
from the quality of the soil, inevitably separate the shepherds 
and herdsmen, and all their associates in labour, very widely 
from the general seat of Government and from each other. The 
principle of counteracting dispersion, when reduced to practice, 
must unavoidably be narrowed within the limits which these 
physical peculiarities of the colony dictate and require. 

" But that principle must also bend to a necessity of a diffe- 
rent kind. It is wholly vain to expect that any positive laws, 
especially those of a very young and thinly-peopled country, 
will be energetic enough to repress the ^irit of adventure and 
speculation in which the unauthorised settlements at Fort Phillip 
and Twofold Bay have originated. The motives which are 
urging mankind, especially in these days of general peace and 
increasing population, to break through the restraints which 
would forbid their settling themselves and their families in such 
situations, are too strong to be encountered with effect by 
ordinary means. To engage in such a struggle would be wholly 
irrational. All that remains for the Government, in such cir- 
cumstances, is to assume the guidance and direction of enter- 
prises, which, though it cannot prevent or retard, it may yet 
conduct to happy results. 

" It may yet admit of serious doubt whether the settlers at 
Port Phillip and Twofold Bay have not in reality given birth to 
undertakings, which deliberate reflection would have recom- 
mended rather than discouraged. Each of these places will 
probably, at a time more or less distant, form the nucleus of a 
new and flourishing settlement, interchanging with the districts 
at present occupied in the vicinity of Sydney many articles of 
internal commerce, and contributing to expedite the general 
occupation, by the people of this kingdom or their descendants, 
of those vast territories in which our national wealth and 
industry have already in the last half century converted an 
unproductive waste into two great and flourishing provinces. 

*' In producing and multiplying such results as these, it has, 
I believe, always occurred, and is perhaps inevitable, iJiat the 
sanguine ardour of private speculation should quicken and 
anticipate the more cautious movements of Government. 

'' I have entered on these general remarks, not as supposing 
they could convey to you any new information or suggestions. 

i - 

350 Port Phillip Settlement. 

but from my solicitude to show that, in yielding to the unfore- 
seen exigency which has arisen, His Majesty's Government are 
not forgetful of colonisation which Lord Ripon so earnestly 
inculcated. In truth, I know not how, under the new circum- 
stances of the case, effect could be given to those principles 
unless the Local Government should, as you propose, place itself 
at the head of the undertaking in which the unauthorised 
settlers have engaged. 

" The settlement at Port Phillip will > probably be reinforced 
by a large number of emigrants and a considerable introduction 
of capital from Scotland. I inclose for your information copies 
of the correspondence in which I have already been engaged 
with some gentlemen on the subject. You will perceive that I 
had, to a considerable extent, anticipated your own views. 

" Respecting the arrangements to be made for settling a form 
of government at Port Phillip and Twofold Bay, I advance no 
further than to express my general concurrence in your views, 
and to sanction your acting on them in the manner you propose. 
I feel that writing at this distance on a subject so novel 
and peculiar, I should rather encumber than assist you by 
attempting to enter with more minuteness into the details of 
your plan. 

** I have, &c., 

" Glenelg." 

His lordship's acknowledgment of the Governor's second 
lett>er was a simple reference to his reply to the first 

The way was now cleared for action. The course was plain 
before Sir Richard. The trespassers were to remain. But they 
were not to remain mere squatters. On the contrary, there was 
to be no longer any roaming at large over free grass, as in the 
Patriarchal days. The pastures were to be legally opened, 
though only to those provided with a Pass as well as a silver 

'* Colonial Secretary's Office, 
9^ Sept,, 1886. 

"His Majesty's Government having authorised the location of 
settlers on the vacant Crown lands adjacent to the shores of 
Port Phillip, under the same regulations as are now in force for 
the colonisation of Crown lands in other parts of New South 
Wales, and several persons having already passed over there 
from Van Diemen's Land, His Excellency the Governor has 
been pleased to appoint Capt. Lonsdale, of the 4th King's Own 
Regiment, to be Police Magistrate for that Settlement, of 
which all persons concerned are hereby required to take notice. 

'Official Correspondence. 351 

" Arrangements are in progress for effecting the survey and 
measurement of such parts of the land near Port Phillip as it 
may be expedient to dispose of in the first instance, but until 
the same shall have been completed, of which due notice will 
' be given, no applications for purchase can be entertained. In 
the meantime, it is distinctlv to be understood by those 
persons who may be desirous of resorting to Port Phillip from 
other parts of New South Wales or from Van Diemen s Land, 
that no advantage will be obtained by the occupation of any 
land at that place previously to the conveyance of a legal 
instrument from the Government of New South Wales, as 
without such Title the land (unless required for public purposes) 
will be subject to be put up for competition at a public sale, 
and sold to the best bidder. 

" By His Excellency's command 

"Alex. McLeay." 

This related to town and farm lands. The use of the grass 
was upon a system propounded in the Land Act of 1836. It 
was by virtue of the forcible seizure of Port Phillip territory 
by Batman that the public lands of Australia were first really 
unlocked for flockmasters. Pastoral tenants since that time owe, 
therefore, a great debt of gratitude to John Batman. 

An Act " to Restrain the unauthorised occupatiofn of Crown 
Xiands" was passed July 29th, 1836, and began thus : — 

"Whereas the unauthorised occupation of the unalienated 
Crown lands of New South Wales is derogatory to the rights 
of His Majesty and His successors, and conducive to many 
illegal and dishonest practices; and whereas the laws now in 
force are insufficient for the speedy and effectual removal of 
intruders upon such lands — Be it therefore enacted by His 
Excellency the Governor of New South Wales, with the advice 
of the Legislative Council thereof, that from and after the first 
' day of January next, any person who shall be found occupying 
any Crown lands lying waste in New South Wales within the 
limits allotted for location by the Government Order of the 14th 
of October, 1829, either by residing or by erecting any tent, 
hut, or building thereon, or by clearing or allocating any part 
thereof, shall on conviction thereof forfeit and pay the following 
penalties, that is to say, for the first offence any sum not exceed- 
ing £10, at the discretion of the justice or justices before whom 
the complaint shall be heard ; for the second offence, £20 ; and 
f6r the third and any subsequent offence £50, to be recovered 
in a summary way. 

'' And be it declared and enacted, that from and after the 
said first day of January next ensuing, it shall not be lawful for 

352 ^ Port Phillip Settlement. 

any person to occupy any Crown lands, in New South Wales 
beyond the limits allotted as aforesaid, without having first 
obtained a license for such purpose in conformity with the 
Oovemment regulations in such case made and provided, and 
that any person who shall be found occupying as aforesaid any 
Crown land in New South Wales beyond the limits allotted as 
aforesaid, and shall not hold a valid license from the Govern- 
ment of New South Wales for depasturing cattle and other 
animals beyond the limits as aforesaid, every such person on 
conviction thereof shall forfeit and pay the penalties herein* 
before imposed in the case of persons unlawfully occupying 
waste lands of the Crown within the said limits of location." 

Then came this Public Order : — 

" BSs Excellency the Governor, with the advice of the 
Executive Council, directs it to be notified that from and after 
the first day of January next, any person who shall be found 
occupying any Crown lands within the limits of location fixed 
by the Government Order of the 14th October, 1829, either by 
residing or by erecting any tent, hut, or building thereon, or 
by clearing, inclosing, or cultivating any part thereof, without 
holding a lease under the regulations of the 1st August, 1831 ; 
And any person who shall be found occupying any Crown 
lands beyond the said limits of location without holding a 
license for depasturing cattle and other animals under these 
regulations, will be liable, under the complaint of any Com- 
missioner of Crown Lands, to the penalties imposed by the said 
Act ; that is to say, for the first oiFence any sum not exceeding 
ten pounds, at the discretion of the justice before whom the 
complaint is heard ; for the second offence, twenty pounds ; and 
for tne third or any subsequent offence, fifty pounds." 

The application of the New Act to Port Phillip is thus 
described : — 

^ Licenses to depasture the vacant Crown lands beyond the 
limits of location will be granted on application to the Colonial 
Secretary, which is to be accompanied by a certificate of cha- 
racter from the nearest justice of the peace or Commissioner 
of Crown Lands in the terms therein set forth. Persons desirous 
of depasturing in different parts of the colony will be required 
to ti^e out a separate license for such district; every such 
license wUl be chargeable with a fee of ten pounds, to be paid 
to the Colonial Treasurer previously to its issue." 

The licenses were to be for one year only, renewable by the 
Colonial Secretary if no objection be raised by the Commis- 
sioners. But it was declared: "Any improvement effected 

Official Correspondence. 


upon Crown land depastured under the authority of a license 
will be at the risk of the party holding the same, as such land, 
whenever it may be deemed expedient to extend the boundaries 
of the location, will be liable to be put up to competition at 
public auction, in the same manner as other unalienated Crown 
lands." It is further added : " It is to be distinctly understood 
that the issue of licenses to depastured lands beyond the limits 
of location, gives to the holders no claim to any greater pro- 
tection by the civil or military force of the colony than is now 
enjoyed by persons residing in those parts.'* 

The last oflScial document that need be given relative to the 
settlement of Port Phillip, besides those mentioned in connec- 
tion with the story of the Port Phillip Association, is the 
following : — 

" Downing Strebt, Zlst Afay, 1887. 


"Sir, — I have received your despatch No. 101 of the 15th 
of September last, reporting the measures which you had taken 
for opening the country in the neighbourhood of Port Phillip 
for colonisation, and for providing for the good order and 
government of that settlement, and I have to convey to you 
my general approval of those measures. 

"Having conferred with the Lords Commissioners of the 
Treasury with regard to the establishment of oflScers whom 
you have sent down to Port Phillip, I see no reason to dis- 
approve of the allowances which you have attached to those 
appointments. I should, however, wish that the system of 
granting rations to the civil ofiScers should be discontinued as 
soon as the settlement shall have been sufficiently established. 

"I must also impress on you the importance of adhering 
rigidly to the principle of the existing regulations as to the 
disposal of land, and of fixing such a minimum price for its 
sale as in the possible absence of the sam^ degree of competi- 
tion which exists elsewhere will afford a security against 
improvident appropriation of Crown land at an inadequate 
price. As this settlement, although within your Government, 
is at a considerable distance from Sydney, I think it essential 
that separate accounts should be kept of the sale of the Crown 
lands in the district of Port Phillip, and that the proceeds of 
such sales should be applied to the improvement of this new 
settlement, and especiaJiy in the introduction of free emigrants, 
which would supply the demand for labour wUlumt the use of 
-convicts, I am therefore anxious that you should take mea- 
sures as soon as possible for directing immigration to this 
settlement, as well as to other parts of the colony, and that 

A A 

354 Port Phillip Settlement. 

you should abstain to the utmost practicable extent from the 
assignment of convicts to the settlers in the Port Phillip district. 
The objections to the system which at present prevails in New 
South Wales with respect to the assignment of convicts would 
exist in a still greater degree in a new settlement, where there 
cannot be the same means of conferring order and imposing 
restraint which are available in an older settlement, while there 
must be greater facilities of escape, aided by the circumstance 
to which you have referred of the vicinity of a part of Port 
Phillip district to the eastern boundary of South Australia. 
Nor, at a moment when H. M.'s Government are preparing to 
put an end to the system of assignment in New South Wales, 
should I consent without the greatest reluctance to its exten- 
sion, even to a limited degree, to any new settlement 

" It is also of importance that the recent arrangements with 
regard to the means of religious instruction should be extended 
as soon as possible to the settlement of Port Phillip. 

"With regard to the colony of Southern Australia, the 
publicity which from the peculiar circumstances under which 
it had originated has attended the various stages of its forma- 
tion, and particularly the fact of its having been constituted 
under the authority of an Act of Parliament, appeared to 
render any formal announcement to you on that subject un- 
necessary. It is, however, important that in regulating the 
upset price of land at Port Phillip you should not exclude 
from your consideration the price below which land cannot be 
acquired within the colony of South Australia. 

" I have, Ac." 

The expenditure referred to was for Captain Lonsdale, the 
chief officer of the settlement, in addition to a salary of 180/. 
to Dr. Thomson as surgeon and catechist, and an allowance to 

T!*^ C N 





The establishment of the settlements about Melbourne and 
Geelong was undoubtedly the work of this Association, though 
originally eflfected by John Batman, who acted distinctly as their 
private agent when he came to Port Phillip in 1835. It will 
be of interest to many to trace the progress and end of this 
colonising party. The writer, who arrived in Hobart Town, the 
seat of the Association, only six years after Batman's first visit, 
knew some of the members, and heard much of the gossip about 
the enterprise, cannot help affirming that in his early colonial 
days the gentlemen forming that Association were regarded as, 
men of character as well as position, of benevolence as well as 

One of the Association, Mr. Sams, of Launceston, sent to the 
author, by a friend, an account of the birth of the Company. 
There had been an ascent of Ben Lomond, near Mr. Batman's 
house. On that occasion the promoter of this pleasant excursion 
was taken suddenly ill on the side of the mount The attack 
passed off, and the two friends passed the night together at the 
camp fire. 

" It was then," said Mr. Sams, " that I first heard Port Phillip 
spoken of as a desirable place for settlement ; Batman telling 
me that when he was in Sydney, he had heard from a school- 
fellow, Hamilton Hume, who with Captain Hovell had explored 
the neighbourhood of Port Phillip, that the country there was 
of the finest description, and that this information had dwelt in 
his mind, and made him ever anxious to verify the truth or 
otherwise of the report. It then occurred to me to suggest the 
formation of a Company, in order that the expense, incidental to 
the exploration, should be light when borne by a number. This 
idea was at once agreed upon." 

A A 2 

356 Port Phillip Settlement. ' 

Another of the Association, Mr. Robertson, told the author 
that Batman spoke early of the matter to him, and that he 
agreed to go shares in the charge. He was subsequently hurt, 
as he said, to find that others, as Mr. Gellibrand, had been let 
into the secret. Subsequently, the Association was formed. 

Their names were these : — J. T. Gellibrand, C. Swanston, T. 
Bannister, J. Simpson, J. and W. Robertson, H. Arthur, J. H. 
Wedge, J. Sinclair, J. T. CoUicott, A. Cotterell, W. G. Sams, M. 
Conolly, and G. Mercer, besides John Batman. These fifteen 
signed a document addressed to Lord Glenelg on the 27th of 
June, before any legal agreement had been made between them. 

The leading spirits were Batman and Gellibrand. They had 
applied for permission to settle at Western Port nearly ten years 
before, without receiving encouragement. Mr. Gtellibrand was 
an energetic lawyer of Hobart Town, with a reputation as 
honourable as it was grateful. Honest in his profession, and 
Christian in his deportment, he was one of those who had a 
chivalrous attachment to the coloured race, recognising the rights 
of aborigines to the soil, and indignant at the way those rights 
were disregarded by British settlers and officials. Having 
witnessed the horrors of the Black War in Van Diemen's Land, 
he determined, in the face of God and man, to make the 
interest of the natives at Port Phillip his special care in any 
negotiations for a settlement over there.. He it was who drew 
up the treaty, so much derided by those whose sense of the 
ridiculous is, perhaps, stronger than their sense of justice, and 
who think that Providence is, and should be, on the side of the 
heaviest battalions. 

The story of this good man's end, elsewhere referred to, can 
be but just glanced at here. He had gone over to inspect the 
new country, of which he was a Founder. After a tour with 
Buckley among the natives, he set out with Mr. Hesse on a 
further exploration. They crossed the plain on which rise the 
volcanic cones still called after these gentlemen, and disappeared 
in the forest fastnesses of Cape Otway. Several stories are 
extant respecting the existence of one of them years after. 
The withholding of the payment of Mr. Gellibrand's life-assur- 
ance was owing to the oft raised expectations of his recovery. His 
disappearance was the great romance of early Port Phillip times. 

Captain Swanston, the Hobart Town banker, a man of great 

The Port Phillip Association. 357 

mental energy, and the leading commercial spirit in this 
speculation, departed this life under a mystery. Mr. Wedge, 
Government Surveyor, lived to a green old age in Tasmania. 
Mr. Arthur was nephew of Governor Arthur of Van Diemen's 
Land. Mr. Sams was sheriff of Launceston. Almost all the 
others embarked in Port Phillip pastoral pursuits, and realised 
large fortunes, though after the turn of the tide in 1845. Some 
made Port Phillip their home at once. Others, like the Messrs. 
Robertson of Colac, continued for years their Hobart Town and 
" Launceston avocations, long after the author's arrival in the 
island in 1841. 

These men, who were the means of adding a valuable jewel to 
the Crown of England, realised only pecuniary loss by their 
venture as shareholders in the Association, however much some 
of them may have gained as individuals by the colonisation of 
Port Phillip. 

Going as they did, to a No-marCs-land, or one believed to be 
such, they may have reckoned upon the enjoyment of the spoils 
by so peaceful a descent. Knowing that concessions of land 
had been made in the case of other companies, they indulged 
the idea that they might be equally successful. They did not, 
however, properly estimate the weakness of their position in 
being only a self-appointed organisation, and not a legal incor- 
poration. They assumed too much in fancying that only the 
British Government, and not a colonial authority, could possibly 
have claims to the territory they had occupied. Thus it was 
that, though they came and saw, they did not conquer. It was 
their privilege, by expenditure of time, care, and cash, to reveal 
a glorious region, to lead the way, by self-sacrifice, for others to 
possess good things, though failing to secure for themselves 
those special advantages too confidently expected. They acted 
as the Columbus of the period, in showing others the way to 
fortune : and, like Columbus, found themselves left out in the cold, 
laughed at for the chivalry of their enterprise, and the simplicity of 
their reliance upon either the justice or gratitude of Government. 
Yet they were not altogether so simple as they appeared. 
They took the first and needful step of gaining a foothold, 
deeming it easy to obtain confirmation by a proper Deed of 
Incorporation. Had they applied for the legal right of 
association before venturing upon the speculation,, others, in all 

358 Port Phillip Settlement. 

probability, would Lave taken advantage of the publicity of 
their application, and have gone over into the Promised Land. 
They were not a set of needy adventurers, nor were they without 
some covert ofiBcial recognition. Most of the members were 
appreciated friends and neighbours of the Governor of Van 
Diemen's Land. Batman's letter after his return from Port Phillip 
was addressed to His Honour. The Association oflScially held 
correspondence with Government House. And the Governor did 
what he could discreetly to aid the projectors. 

The rock upon which they were wrecked was the ignoring of 
the rights, real or imaginary, of the ruler in New South Wales. 
There was considerable elasticity as to the terms designating the 
limits of that territory. Captain Cook's New South Wales was 
the coast he discovered — the whole eastern side of New Holland, 
from Cape Howe to Cape York. The convict settlement on the 
shore of Port Jackson was called New South Wales. Did the 
authority of His Excellency extend from Cape Howe to Cape 
York ? Were they the southern and northern limits of his 
domain ? And if so, how far back from the seaboard did such 
domain reach ? That both latitude and longitude were not so 
limited was shown when corporations, like the Swan Kiver 
Association and that of South Australia, were suffered to locate 
themselves without reference to the Sydney magnate. 

It must be admitted that the principle had been established, 
as to a portion of what became known as Port Phillip, through 
the occupation of Westeili Port, in 1826, by a party sent from 
Port Jackson, and afterwards withdrawn from it to head-quarters. 
It had even been recognised by Messrs. Gellibrand and Batman 
themselves, when they unavailingly applied to the Governor of 
New South Wales for liberty to locate themselves and flocks on 
that southern shore. Why did the Association, therefore, ignore 
the Sydney ruler ? Was it from a sullen remembrance of the 
want of favour to their two leaders in 1826, from a sincere 
belief that Sydney could lay no claim upon territory so far to 
the westward as well as southward, or from a conception that an 
arrangement could be effected by which the land in question 
could be placed under the jurisdiction of their sympathiser — 
the Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen's Land ? 

There is no doubt now that Colonel* Arthur desired the 
extension of his authority by the appropriation of a region so 

The Pobt Puillip Association. 359 

near Van Diemen's iLand, and so easily reached from it. At 
that time Sydney was generally many days' passage away, and 
the nearest settlement belonging to the actual colony of New 
South Wales was hundreds of miles from Port Phillip waters. 
There may have been an understanding between the Association 
and the Hobart Town representative of royalty, favourable to 
the commercial aims of one party and the ambitious aspirations 
of the other. Since the separation of Van Diemen's Land from 
the jurisdiction of New South Wales, which was not accom- 
plished without the expenditure of considerable personal feeling, 
there had been no particular friendship between these two old 
colonies, and scant courtesy between the Governments. It 
could not escape the eye of Sydney that Hobart Town had an 
eye upon Port Phillip. That a settlement so recently a subor- 
dinate should presume upon so bold an encroachment, could not 
but rise the ire of the original inhabitants of the Rocks at 
Sydney. To frustrate the political aspirations of Lieutenant- 
Governor Arthur, by nullifying the project of the Association, 
became a natural course. 

Here it was all their diflSculties began and ended. The New 
South Wales Governor and Council opposed the very settlement 
of the region, and ordered off all intruders from Van Diemen's 
Land in the same terms they then applied to rude squatters 
who, disregarding and defying law, persisted in running cattle 
upon waste land, and stealing to enlarge their herd. It is true 
that the Port Phillip settlers were gentlemen, exercising due 
control over their shepherds and stockriders while respecting the 
persons of the native inhabitants. But they were none the less 
squatters, and the Association, with a Governor secretly at their 
back, were treated like the vagrants of the bush in New South 

After once opposing the Van Diemen's Land proprietary, the 
Sydney Government continued to affirm a right over the new 
territory, and resisted every form of acknowledgment of the 
Association. The latter were not to be tolerated, their good 
offices were not to be recognised, their services to the opening 
up of so wonderful a source of revenue to New South Wales were 
not to be heeded. No sooner did the Association attempt, by 
remonstrances in London, to attract attention to their claims, 
than the Government of New South Wales loudly and ener- 


-■«" - ■* 

360 Port Phillip Settlement. 

getically protested against anything being done as recompense 
or compensation for the founders of Port Phillip. Even when 
the English Secretary of State evidently felt that the Associa- 
tion had done a good and great work, and had ventured to show 
that something could and should be done for them in return, 
the Sydney rulers persisted in their opposive course, and 
actually, as it was afiSrmed, misread or perverted the message 
from the English Government to do despite to the unfortunate 
Van Diemen's Land gentlemen. 

Was it astonishing, then, that some looked upon the whole 
movement as intercolonial jealousy, and as a blow struck by 
Sydney against Hobart Town ? Was it astonishing to find that 
the seeds of ill-will were then sown in Melbourne towards 
Sydney, producing disloyalty to the verge of rebellion, and 
eventuating in the total separation from New South Wales of the 
fine province of Port Phillip, which became the colony of Victoria ? 

Having thus glanced at the relations borne by the Port 
Phillip Association, let us examine the documentary history of 
this honourable but unfortunate colonial organisation. 

Immediately upon the return of John Batman in June, 1835, 
Mr. Qellibrand drew out, in the form of a letter to Governor 
Arthur, an interesting account of the expedition. That wa^ a 
very natural course, and yet, as it proved, an injudicious one. 
The Sydney authority, as Governor-General, presumedly 
having more responsibility on the mainland than his Lieutenant 
on a neighbouring island, should have had, perhaps, the earliest 
official information. Anxious to prevent a possible failure, some 
urged that the Association should, by deputation, wait upon 
His Excellency. The only result was the Proclamation of Sir 
Richard Bourke. 

The first letter from the so-called Association was as follows : 

'* Hobart Town, 27th Jum, 1835. 

" My Lord, — We have the honour of inclosing copy of a 
Report made by Mr. Batman to His Excellency Qovemor 
Arthur, detailing the result of an expedition conducted at our 
joint expense to Port Phillip, on the south-western extremity of 
Jf ew Holland, for the purpose of effecting a conciliatory inter- 
course with the native tribes in that part of the country, and 
afterwards of purchasing from the chiefs, upon eauitable prin- 
ciples, a portion of that territory for pastoral and agricultural 

The Port Phillip Association. 


" We are fully persuaded that the perusal of that Report will 
clearly demonstrate that an intercourse has been established by 
our means, which promises the most happy and philanthropic 
results, and that the portion of the country granted to Mr. 
Batman, as our representative, has been obtaii^ed upon terms 
more equitable and just to the aboriginal possessors of the soil 
than any which the history of the British plantations can produce. 

" We have not contented ourselves with merely purchasing 
the land in the first instance, but we have reserved to the chiefe 
an annual tribute, payable for ever, of the value of at least 200Z. 
By means of this annual tribute, the friendly intercourse with 
the natives must of necessity be kept up, and will lead to 
gradual civilisation. 

" This tract of country is some hundred miles beyond tho 
jurisdiction of New South Wales, but within the imaginary line 
leading from the Australian Bight to the Gulf of Carpentaria, and 
which defines the limits of Australia. We might therefore have 
contented ourselves with this treaty with the aboriginal tribes, 
and quietly have taken possession of the land without any official 
notice, either to the British or Colonial^Govemments ; but, in the 
first instance, we were desirous of communicating the happy 
results which had attended the intercourse with the natives, and, 
in the next place, of at once apprising His Majesty's Government 
of the nature of the grants which have been obtained, and the 
terms under which the land has been granted ; because we feel 
confident that, having obtained from the chiefs of the tribe, 
who are in fact the owners of the soil, a title based upon equi- 
table principles, the Crown will, under your Lordship s advice, 
relinquish any legal or constructive right to the land in question, 
especially as the very destruction of our title would be taking 
away from the natives the tribute which is thus secured to them 
for ever. 

" We therefore with confidence appeal to your Lordship to 
advise the Crown to grant to us such rights as the Crown may 
be advised that it possesses to the tracts of land in question, 
upon such equitable principles as your Lordship may conceive 
the justice of the case requires. 

" We have the honour to be, 
My Lord, 
Your Lordship's most obedient humble servants, 

C. SwANSTON, Jno. Thos. Collicott, 

J. T. Gellibband, Jno. H. Wedge, 
W. G. Sams, Jno. Sinclair, 

J. & W. Robertson, Anthy. Cotterell, 
James Simpson, 
Thomas Bannister, 
John Batman, 


Henry Arthur, 
Michael Connolly, 
George Mercer." 


Port Phillip Settlement. 

Such a letter must have excited some interest in Downing 
Street, though it may have provoked a smile. To receive a 
claim from a self-nominated Association for rights of possession 
of territory in New Holland, solely on account of a treaty with 
naked savages, who had ever been systematically ignored by the 
British Government in any settlement, was quite enough to 
excite the risible faculties of English officials. What possible 
consideration could be shown for those gentlemen, colonists as 
they were, who were simple enough to regard helpless and 
uncivilised aborigines as " owners of the soil" ? The difficulties 
afterwards encountered by the Association in their correspon- 
dence with the authorities arose, in no small degree, from the 
impression that the claimants had a bee in their bonnet when 
they entered upon a treaty with the Australian blacks. 

The Treaty alluded to was made between certain natives 
of Port Phillip on the one part, and John Batman on the 

As the expenses of the expedition were paid by the members 
of the Association, who were to share in common with John 
Batman in all the profits of the transaction, it was but natural 
that the gentlemen should look to their own interests, with no 
suspicion of the honour and integrity of their agent. In the 
same month, therefore, as Batman returned, unfurling his banner 
of peaceful conquest in the shape of a transfer of thousands of 
acres, the following Deed was drawn up and duly executed. It 
was held that, if any mischance happened to Batman, the 
Association might suflfer. By making over the property he had 
there secured to three members of the Association as trustees 
for the rest, all difficulty would be avoided. The instrument 
was as follows : — 

"THIS INDENTURE, made the thirtieth day of June 
one thousand eight hundred and thirty-five, between John" 
Batman, of Benlomond, in Van Diemen s Land, Esquire, of the 
first part, and Charles Swanston, Joseph Ticb Gellibrand, 
and James Simpson, all of Hobart Town, Esquires, of the other 
part : Whereas the said John Batman is seized, or otherwise 
well entitled, by two certain deeds of feoffment, bearing date on 
or about the sixth day of June instant, and made by Jagajaga, 
Jagajaga, Jagajaga, the Principal Chiefs, and also Cooloolock, 
Bungarie, Yanyan, Moowhip, and Mommarmalar, Chiefs of the 
native Tribe called Dutigallar, situate at Port Philip, on the 

The Port Phillip Association. 363 

south-west coast of New Holland, of two several tracts of land 
situate at Port Philip, and hereafter more particularly men- 
tioned> are called Geelong, and containing about one hundred 
thousand acres of land, and the other called Dutigallar, and 
containing about five hundred thousand acres of land. Al^D 
WH£REAS the said John Batman is so seized, for and on behalf 
of himself and the said Charles Swanston, Joseph Tice 
Gellibrand, James Simpson, and also of Thomas Bannister, 
John Robertson and William Robertson, John Thomas CoUicott, 
of Hobart Town, Esquires; and also of Henry Arthur, John 
Hilder Wedge, John Sinclair, Arthur Cotterell, William Georgei 
Sams, and Michael Connolly, of Launceston, Esquires ; and also 
of George Mercer, of the city of Edinburgh, Esquire, in certain 
shares and proportions : And whereas, by a certain Indenture, 
bearing date the twenty-ninth day of June instant, and made 
between the said John Batman of the one part, and the several 
other persons before mentioned, certain stipulations and agree- 
ments were made and entered into for the occupation of the said 
several tracts of land, and for the agistment of sheep and cattle 
thereon, and for the establishment of a settlement at Port 
Philip, and also for procuring a confirmation or grant from the 
Crown of the said tracts of land, and for the future division of 
the said land into separate shares and proportions, and for the 
conveyance of the said tracts of lands in such shares, to the several 
persons hereafter to be entitled thereto : And whereas, in order 
to provide against any contingency or impediment that may 
arise by the illness or death of the said John Batman beford 
such conveyances can be properly made, it hath been proposed 
and agreed by the said John Batman, to convey and assure the 
said two tracts of land to the said Charles Swanston, Joseph 
Tice Gellibrand, and James Simpson, and their heirs and 
assignees, upon the trusts and for the ends, intents, and purposes 
hereafter mentioned : Now this Indenture witnesseth, that, 
for the purposes aforesaid, and in consideration of five shillings 
of lawful money of Great Britain by the said Charles Swanston, 
Joseph Tice Gellibrand, and James Simpson, to the said John 
Batman in hand well and truly paid, at or before the execution 
of these presents, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged. 
He, the said John Batman, doth grant, bargain, sell, release, 
and assure, unto the said Charles Swanston, Joseph Tice 
Gellibrand, and James Simpson, and their heirs, all the tract 
and indented Head of Land situate, lying, and being at the bay 
of Port Philip, in New Holland, called or known by the native 
name of Geelong, extending from Geelong Harbour about due 
south, ten miles to the heads of Port Philip, taking in the whole 
tract of land, and containing about one hundred thousand acres 
of land, be the same more or less : And also all that other 

364j Port Phillip Settlement. 

tract of land, situate and being at Port Philip, running [from 
the branch of the river at the top of the Port, about seven 
miles from the mouth of the river, forty miles north-east, and 
from thence west forty miles across Iramoo Downs or Plains, 
and from thence south-west across Mount Yalarmarnartar to 
Qeelong Harbour, at the head of the same, containing five 
hundred thousand acres, more or less, together with all timber 
growing thereon, ways, rights, members, and appurtenances to 
the said several tracts of land belonging or appertaining ; all 
which said tracts of land are now in the possession of the said 
Charles Swanston, Joseph Tice Gellibrand, and James Simpson, 
by virtue of a bargain and sale for a year made to him thereof 
by indenture, bearing date the day next before the day of the 
date of these presents, and by force of the statute made for 
transferring uses into possession, TO HOLD the said tracts of 
land, vdth their, and ^every of their rights, members, and 
appurtenances, (but subject to the payment of the annual 
tribute therein respectively reserved and made payable to the 
Chiefe of the said tribe for ever,) unto, and to the use and 
behoof of the said Charles Swanston, Joseph Tice Gellibrand, 
and James Simpson, their heirs and assigns for ever, upon the 
trusts, nevertheless, and to and for the ends, intents, and 
purposes, and subject to the several rights, shares, equities, and 
interest expressed and declared of and concerning the said 
tracts of land, in and by the said in part recited indenture of 
the said twenty-ninth day of June, and for no other trust, 
intent, and purpose whatever : And the said Charles Swanston, 
Joseph Tice Gellibrand, and James Simpson, do, and each of 
them doth, hereby covenant to, and with tne said John Batman, 
his heirs, and assigns, that they, the said Charles Swanston, 
Joseph Tice Gellibrand, and James Simpson, and the survivors 
and survivor of them, and the heirs of such survivor, shall and 
will make, do, and execute from time to time, such conveyances 
and assurances as shall full}' and effectually carry into full 
effect the trusts and conditions mentioned and contained in the 
said recited Indenture. — In Witness, &c. 

Signed, Scaled, and Delivered (Signed) John Batman. 
by Charles Swanston, &c. C. Swanston. 

J. T. Gellibrand. 

Jas. Simpson." 

Que of the most interesting documents of 1835 is the 
Agreement entered into by the Association members on June 
29th ; though two days after the parties, to catch a mail, had 
written to England as if they had then a proper organisation. 

The preamble sets forth the treaty of June 6th made with 

The Port Phillip Assocution, 


the natives of Port Phillip by John Batman, and the two grants 
of land thereby secured in the districts of Geelong and Dutigalla. 
Then came the division of the expected spoil. Batman was to 
have two-seventeenth shares, others one-seventeenth, but two 
undivided shares were left to the disposal of Major Mercer. 
Messrs. Batman and Wedge were appointed superintendents 
over the operations there. Each land grant was to be divided 
into seventeen shares. No one was to be employed in Port 
Phillip without a good character ; while, to keep the men right, 
no liquor was to be landed but for private use or medicine. 
A committee of three should have general charge, and another 
committee of three should attend to shipment of stock, &c. All 
these arrangements were entered into under the pleasing and 
confident expectation that no serious difficulties would prevent 
the carrying out of the treaty, but that the Home Government 
would endorse the action of the Association, and make every 
member thereof rich and happy. 

This Deed is described as that " defining the objects of the 
Parties who propose to establish a Settlement on the Territories 
of Geelong and Dutigalla," and was thus expressed : — 

"THIS INDENTURE, made the twenty-ninth day of 
June, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and 
thirty-five, between John Batman, of Benlomond, in Van 
Diemen's Land, Esquire, of the one part ; Charles Swanston, 
of Hobart Town, in Van Diemen's Land, aforesaid. Esquire ; 
Thomas Bannister, of the same place, Esquire ; James Simpson, 
of the same place. Esquire ; Joseph Tice Gellibrand, of the 
same place, Esquire ; John and William Robertson, of the 
same place, Merchants; Henry Arthur, of Launceston, Es- 
quire; John Hilder Wedge, of the same place. Surveyor; 
John Sinclair, of the same place. Esquire; John Thomas 
Collicott, of Hobart Town, aforesaid, Esquire; Anthony 
Cotterell, of Launceston, aforesaid, Gentleman ; William 
George Sams, of the same place, Esquire ; Michael Connolly, 
of Launceston, Merchant ; and George Mercer, of the city of 
Edinburgh, Esquire, of the other part. — Whereas the said 
John Batman did, on or about the twelfth day of May, one 
thousand eight hundred and thirty-five, proceed from Launceston 
to Port Philip, on the south-western coast of New Holland, at 
the joint expense and on the account of himself and the several 
other persons parties hereto, for the purpose of eflfecting an 
amicable intercourse with the Aboriginal Tribes who were living 
at or near Port Philip, and who were the possessors of that tract 


Port Phillip Settlement. 

of country, and also for the purpose of obtaining, after eflFecting 
such intercourse, a grant from the said Tribes of a portion of 
their tract of country, for the purpose of enabling the several 
persons, parties hereto, to export sheep and cattle thereon, and 
to carry on pastoral and agricultural pursuits in connection 
with the civilisation of the said Tribes : And whereas the said 
John Batman hath succeeded in establishing a friendly inter- 
course with the Chiefs of the Tribes at Port Philip, and the 
Chiefs of the said Tribes have, by two certain Deeds, bearing 
date the sixth day of June, one thousand eight hundred and 
thirty-five, granted, enfeoflfed, and confirmed unto the said John 
Batman, his heirs, and assignees, the two tracts of land herein- 
after mentioned : And whereas the said two grants, with the 
endorsements thereon of livery and seisin, are to the purport and 
eflfect following (that is to say) : In the original, the two grants 
are set out verbatim: And whereas the said John Batman 
stands seized and possessed of the said two several tracts of land, 
so far as he lawfully can, under the said two grants, in trust, 
nevertheless, for the use and behoof of himself and the several 
other -persons parties hereto, according to the several undivided 
shares and interests hereinafter mentioned, (that is to say,) the 
said John Batman two undivided seventeenths ; the said Charles 
Swanston, one undivided seventeenth; the said Thomas Ban- 
nister, one undivided seventeenth ; the said James Simpson, one 
undivided seventeenth; the said Joseph Tice Qellibrand, one 
undivided seventeenth ; the said John and William Robertson, 
one undivided seventeenth ; the said Henry Arthur, one undi- 
vided seventeenth ; the said John Hilder Wedge, one undivided 
seventeenth ; the said James Sinclair, one undivided seventeenth ; 
the said John Thomas CoUicott, one undivided seventeenth ; the 
said Anthony Cotterell, one undivided seventeenth; the said 
William George Sams, one undivided seventeenth ; the said 
Michael Connolly, one undivided seventeenth ; the said George 
Mercer, one undivided seventeenth ; and as to the other two 
undivided seventeenths, IN trust, for such person or persons, 
and in such share or shares as the said George Mercer shall by 
any deed or instrument in writing, direct, limit, or appoint : 
And whereas a certain Report of the proceedings of the said 
John Batman, bearing date the twenty-fifth day of June instant, 
hath been transmitted with the concurrence of the said several 
other persons, parties hereto, to His Excellency Colonel George 
Arthur, Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen*s Land, and the 
said John Batman, Charles Swanston, Thomas Bannister, James 
Simpson, Joseph Tice CSrellibrand, John and William Robertson, 
Henry Arthur, John Hilder Wedge, John Sinclair, John Thomas 
Collicott, Anthony Cotterell, William George Sams, and Michael 
Connolly, have transmitted full power and authority to the said 

The Port Phillip Assocution. 367 

George Mercer to negotiate with the British Government for a 
confirmation on the part of the Crown of its rights to the said 
land, or a grant from the Crown of the land, as ma^ be con- 
sidered most advisable, and upon such terms as the said George 
Mercer may be able to obtain : And whereas the said George 
Mercer will have to expend a considerable sum of money in 
procuring from the Crown such confirmation or grant, and the 
said several parties last mentioned have agreed with the said 
George Mercer to repay him all such sum or sums of money as 
he may advance in proportion to the aforesaid undivided interests 
in the said land : And whereas it is expedient that possession 
should be forthwith taken of the said tracts of land, and that 
stock should be with all convenient speed placed thereon, and 
that the same should be placed for the next twelve months 
under the general superintendence of the said J. Batman, John 
HUder Wedge, and such person or persons parties hereto, of the 
second part, as mav think fit to proceed there during that 
period ; and it is also expedient that certain rules and regula- 
tions should be drawn up and defined for the matiagement of 
such stock and the afiairs of the said Association, until a com- 
plete survey of the land and division takes place, as hereinafter 
is described: Now this Indenture witnesseth, and it is 
hereby declared and agreed by and between the said several 
persons parties hereto, and each of them doth hereby bind 
himself, his heirs, executors, and administrators, to the others 
fmd other of them, to the full, complete, and perfect fulfilment 
and performance of the several conditions, covenants, and agree- 
ments hereinafter mentioned, (ix,) that each of the said parties 
shall and will, at his own expense, well and truly deliver at Port 
Philip, to the said J. Batman, or to a competent authority 
there, on his behalf, within six months from the date hereof, 
five hundred good and improved breeding ewes, and five hundred 
more within twelve months from the date hereof ; that all over- 
seers, servants, and others requisite for carrying on the said 
establishment at Port Philip shall be hired by the said J. 
Batman or the said J. H. Wedge ; and that each party on whose 
account such servants may be hired shall pay such wages as the 
said J. Batman or J. H. Wedge shall agree for, and for which 
they may give an order to the servants so employed upon the 
party hereto for whose benefit he may be employed ; that the 
said J. Batman and J. U. Wedge, or one of them, shall have the 
superintendence of the several flocks and herds which may be so 
delivered for and on account of the several persons who may have 
so shipped and delivered the stock, rendering to such persons 
a just and faithful account of the same, and of the increase 

" That accounts shall be kept by the said J. Batman and J. H. 

368 • Port Phillip Settlement. 

Wedge of all supplies furnished to the servants of each party 
having stock, and of other expenses connected therewith, which 
shall be duly paid by such persons, party hereto, on whose 
account such outlay shall have been incurred. 

" That the tracts of land shall be with all convenient speed 
properly surveyed and charted, and that the grant of Gteeiong 
shall be divided into seventeen shares, and the other grant, 
Dutigalla, into seventeen shares. 

" That all expenses to be incurred by the said J. Batman 
during the said term, which shall be for the benefit of the 
general concern, shall be repaid according to the proportions 

" That during the period aforesaid no liquor of any description 
shall be landed on the settlement for sale or distribution amongst 
the servants, excepting only wine for family use or medicinal 

"That the management and arrangement with the natives of 
every description, and also the distribution of tribute, shall be 
vested solely in the said J. Batman. 

" That all the servants shall be of good character, and if 
possible be married men, and proceed with their wives and 
families, in order to prevent the possibility of any injury being 
inflicted upon the natives. 

"That the actual expense of surveying the lands, and all 
expenses of procuring thrgrant or confin^ation by the Cit>^, 
either by way of purchase or quit-rent, shall be borne and paid 
rateably, and in the proportions aforesaid. 

" That as soon as the grant or confirmation shall be obtained 
firom the Grown, or other act made known equivalent thereto, 
or intimation given that the Crown will not interfere, then that 
the said J. Batman, his heirs, or assignees, or such other persons, 
party hereto, or any person in trust for them, or him, as may 
have any legal interest or title under the Crown, shall and will 
make, execute, and convey all his or their right, title, or interest, 
of, in, and to the said two several tracts of land, and all other 
lands which may be comprised in any new grant unto and 
amongst the several other persons, paities, in the proportions 
aforesaid, to the use of them, their heirs, and assignees in fee- 
simple, and subject only to the conditions and reservations 
which may be in such grants contained. 

" That in order to determine the portion or share of each party 
in the land, it is hereby declared and agreed, that the said J. 
Batman, in consideration of his personal services and exertions, 
shall be entitled to make the first selection of one share, not 
only of the land at Oeelong Point, but on the other tract of 
land called Dutigalla, and that the remaining sixteen shares to 
each tract shall be determined by lot. 

The Port Phillip Association. 


" That no proprietor sKall sell or dispose of his estate and 
interest in the land or any part thereof, for the space of five 
years to any person or persons, except a co-proprietor, on pain 
of thereby forfeiting all his right, title, and interest, to his share 
in the said lands and every part thereof, and the same shall then 
become a forfeited share to be divided amongst the other pro- 
prietors; and that for the purpose of protecting the native tribes, 
and also of enforcing due order and morals, a medical attendant 
and a catechist shcdl be provided at the expense of the estate, 
and shall form an item of general expense, to be charged in the 
said J. Batman's general accounts. 

" That a Committee, consisting of the said Charles Swanston, 
7. T. Qellibrand, and James Simpson, shall have power to make 
further arrangements to carry the objects of these presents into 
execution, and also to correspond, from time to time, with the 
agent in England respecting the grants and other matters. 

" That a Committee, consisting of the said M. Connolly, John 
Sinclair, and H. Arthur, shall have power to superintend and 
arrange, contract for, and direct the shipment of stock, and the 
periods and method of completing the same, and also to purchase 
supplies for the use of the establishment when required, it 
being clearly understood and agreed that each party is to pay 
all the expense of shipping and delivering the stock at Port 

"That, although the stock shall be under the general 
arrangement and control of the said J. Batman and J. H. 
Wedge during the period of twelve months, it is nevertheless 
distinctly agreed and understood, that nothing herein contained 
shall extend or be construed to extend as creating a partnership 
or community of interest, but each person shaD have a separate 
interest in his own flock, and the increase and returns thereof, 
the said J. Batman and J. H. Wedge being paid by each party 
intrusting them with their stock, a commission beyond all 
expenses of actual outlay of ten pounds per cent, upon the net 
gains and profits, after deducting losses and deaths, and all 
expenses, as a compensation for his or their trouble in the 
superintendence, and which commission shall be paid within 
one month after the expiration of the said term. 

" That in case of any dispute between all or any of the said 
parties arising out of these presents or connected therewith, the 
same shall be submitted to the arbitration of three persons, one 
to be named by each party, and the other by the arbitrator, and 
the decision by any two of them shall be final and binding, so as 
to avoid all litigation, and cement the parties in the bond of 

*' That at the expiration of the said term of twelve months, 
and before any conveyance of the shares shall be made, the 

B B 

370 Port Phillip Settlement. 

several persons, parties hereto, shall and will subscribe and 
agree to a code of rules and regulations for the better govern- 
ment of the said settlement, based upon the principles nerein* 
before mentioned and declared, together with such others as the 
state of the then settlement shall m the judgment of the major 
part of the proprietors render requisite for the extension of the 
two principal objects, civilisation of the tribes, and pastoral 
pursuits, — In Witness, &c." 

An Association formed upon such righteous views in relation 
to the natives would be careful in their selection of servants at 
Port Phillip. Knowing well that the enormities and sufferings 
attending the Black War in Van Diemen's Land were mainly 
owing to the improper conduct of convict servants in the Bush, 
and conscious that similar evils might arise in the new settle- 
ment unless due precautions were taken, the gentlemen were 
very particular as to their choice of helps. To this end they 
bound their employes not only to serve for a fixed term, but 
engaged them to treat the aborigines in a conciliatory spirit. 

The following is the Indenture form used in 1835. The contract 
appears in the name of Mr. Batman, as the local representative 
of the Association, and the managing partner : — 

" THIS INDENTURE, m^ade the day of 

one thousand eight hundred and 
BETWEEN John Batman, of Benlomond, in Van Diemen's Land, 
Esquire, of the one part ; and 

of the other part. — ^Whereas the said John 
Batman is possessed of a considerable tract of land situate at 
Port Philip, on the south-western coast of New Holland, and 
the said John Batman intends forthwith to ship, and also to 
take under his management at Port Philip, an extensive flock of 
sheep, and also a herd of cattle for pastoml and other purposes : 
And whebeas the said hath 

applied to the said John Batman to hire and engage him as a 
farming servant, to proceed to Port Philip under the manage- 
ment and direction of the said John Batman, for the space of 
twelve months, under and subject to the conditions and stipula- 
tions hereinafter mentioned, and to which proposal the said 
John Batman hath consented and agreed. Now this Indenture 
WITNESSETH, and the said John Batman and 

do hereby severally covenant, declare, and 
agree to and with the other of them, his executors and adminis- 
trators, in manner following; (that is to say) that the said 

shall and will well, faithfully. 

The Port Phillip Association. 371 

honestly, and justly serve him, the said John Batman, as his 
servant, for the period of twelve months, to commence on the 

day of next ensuing : 

" That the said shall on the said 

day of be ready at George 

Town, to receive and take charge of any sheep, cattle, or other 
stock which the said John Batman may have to place under 
his care, and that he shall, to the utmost of his power, assist in 
the shipment of the same, and also in the feeding and manage- 
ment on board ship, and until delivered at Port Philip. 

" That upon such delivery at Port Philip, the said 

shall thereupon proceed to such part of 
the land occupied by the said John Batman as the said John 
Batman shall direct and appoint, and that he shall also well 
and &ithfullv take charge of or assist in the charge of such 
flocks or herds as the said John Batman shall direct, and do 
such other acts of business as the said John Batman may 
reasonably require. 

"That the said nor his wife, nor any 

of his children, shall at any time offer any violence or injury to 
anv of the aborigines of the said land, or any of them, except 
only in. actual defence of his or their lives or properties ; but 
that the said shall use his utmost 

endeavours to conciliate the natives. 

** That in case the said or his wife, 

or children, or any of them, shall offer any improper or un- 
necessary violence to the said natives, or if the said 

shall refdse or neglect to perform or 
obey the lawful commands of the said John Batman, or any 
overseer placed over the said it shall 

be lawful for the said John Batman, by the first opportunity, 
to remove the said and his family, 

from the settlement at Port Philip, and to tranship him and them 
to Qeorge Town ; and that the said John Batman shall be 
authorized to give in evidence these presents as a sufficient 
authority for such removal. 

** That the said John Batman shall and will find and provide 
the said with the following rations 

during his performance of the aforesaid conditions; (that is 
to say,) 

*' That, upon the due performance by the said 

of the aforesaid conditions and stipulations, 
and every of them, for the full period of twelve months, to be 
computed as aforesaid, the said John Batman shall and will 
pay to the said the sum of 

of lawful money 

B B 2 

372 Port Phillip Settlement. , 

< < 

of Great Britain, for his services, such sum to be paid by an 
order drawn by the said John Batman upon, and to be paid 
by of 

Esquire ; but it is expressly declared and agreed that the said 

shall not be entitled to any 
wages unless the whole period of twelve months is well and 
faithfully performed according to the aforesaid conditions and 
every of them. 

" That the said John Batman shall be at liberty to deduct 
firom such wages all supplies furnished to the said 

over and above the rationa herein- 
before mentioned. — In Witness 

Signed, sealed, and delivered." 

Though the communication of the operations of the Associa- 
tion was first made to the Governor of Van Diemen*s Land, it 
was deemed prudent, at. the earliest date, to inform the British 
Ministry ; the letter, therefore, to the Secretary of the Colonies 
was entrusted to the care of the ruler at Hobart Town. 

The cautious Colonial Secretary in Van Diemen's Land, Mr. 
John Montagu, while stating His Excellency's readiness to 
forward the report of the proceedings to London, was resolved 
not to commit himself. A representation would be made of the 
respectability of the members of the Association, and of the 
worthy motives actuating them toward the natives of Lramoo, 
or Port Phillip, but no encouragement was given of their hopes- 
As with Mr. Henty and others, so with them, no grant was to be 
expected. The Treaty, however benevolent and just, could not 
be binding, when the British Government never considered 
so-called native rights. At the same time, the gentlemen may 
have read something more hopeful between the lines of this 
epistle : — 

" Colonial Sbgretart's Office, 
Srd Jfdy, 1835. ' 

" Sir, — I am directed to inform you, that the Lieutenant- 
Governor having perused with much interest the account con- 
tained in your Report of the 25th ultimo, of your expedition to 
Port PhilUp, is highly gratified with the ver^ favourable opinion 
you have been enabled to form of the fertility of the adjacent 
territory; thus confirming the various statements which have 
been made respecting it since the first occupation of the country 

The Port Phillip Association. 373 

in 1803 by Governor Collins, and more especially by Messrs. 
Hovell and Hume and Captain Wright, whose reports have 
long since been in the possession of tfis Majesty's Government. 

" Though divided only by a few hours' sail from the most 
fertile portion of Van Diemen's Land, Port Phillip is not within 
the jurisdiction of this Government. His Excellency would 
therefore only observe, that the recognition of the rights 
supposed to have been acquired by the treaty into which you 
have entered with the natives, would appear to be a departure 
from the principle upon which a Parliamentary sanction, 
without reference to the aborigines, has been given to the 
settlement of Southern Australia, as part of the possession of 
the Crown. 

'* The Lieutenant-Governor will have great pleasure, however, 
in forwarding your Report to His Majesty's Government, and in 
representing the enterprise manifested by yourself, — ^the respect- 
ability of the parties interested in the undertaJcing, and the 
humane consideration which. His Excellency is informed, it is 
their intention to extend towards the aboriginal inhabitants of 
Iramoo, but which justice and humanity require as a prelimi- 
nary in the occupation of every new country ; but at the same 
time the Lieutenant-Governor would remark, for the reason he 
has assigned, that he considers it would not be prudent in the 
gentlemen associated with you to incur expense m any reliance 
upon a confirmation from the Crown of your title to the land, 
under the arrangement into which you have entered ; an opinion 
which His Excellency caimot avoid expressing, although he is 
very sensible, that the colonisation of the new country you have 
examined would, on account of its proximity, be highly conducive 
to the prosperity of Van Diemen's Land. 

" I am also to observe, that in reference to the application of 
Mr. Henty to be allowed, under certain conditions, to locate a 

frant of land on the southern coast of New Holland, His 
lajesty's Government declined to accede to his proposals — 
conceiving that to have done so, would be to deviate from the 
principle involved in the Act for the Settlement of Southera 
Australia. — I remain, 

" Sir, 

" Your most obedient servant, 
(Signed) "John Montagu. 

''John Batman, Esq., &c., &c." 

Governor Arthur has been severely criticised for the part he 
took in the Settlement of Port Phillip. He was accused by 
some parties of ambitiously seizing the control of the New 
Colony, and by others he was condemned for not at once 
sending his representative to the banks of the Yarra. While 

374 Port Phillip Settlbment. 

on the one side he was charged with total indifference as to the 
safety of those of his subjects who went over the Straits, and 
even positive antagonism to the Batman enterprise, he was 
charged on the other, especially by Mr. Fawkner, with com- 
plicity in the Association, and with being an investor in the 
undertaking. The Tasmanian and Revieto of May 27th, 1836, 
defends the character of His Excellency, saying : — 

"Lieutenant-Governor Arthur has been accused of a want of 
policy in neglecting to adopt the measure which Gtovemor 
Bourke has thus taken upon himself. This, as have been all 
other accusations against Colonel Arthur, is wholly and alto- 
gether unjust. He had neither the authority nor the power to 
do this. Had he even possessed the latter, he had not the 
slightest pretence for exercising it. The extent of his jurisdic- 
tion is clearly confined in his commission to this island and its 
dependencies. What a monstrous stretch would it not have 
been on his part to have ventured upon the continent of New 
Holland ! And can it be supposed that Governor Bourke, the 
Govemor*in-Chief of both colonies, would have permitted it for 
a moment ? " 

After a reference to the pleasing intelligence that the Phil- 
lipian has received authority for a sort of Permissive Occupation, 
the editor takes up another slander ; — 

"We have here to contradict, in the most positive terms 
which language can express, the rumours which have been in- 
dustriously circulated here, and (like the three Black Crows of 
the Spectator), rendered into positive assertions by the Sydney 
journals, that Colonel Arthur has some interest in the Port 
rhillip speculation. His Excellency has not the very slightest, 
of any sort or description, direct or indirect, in any way, shape, 
or form whatever. For the correctness of this we appeal to 
the real Governor^in-Chief, Mr. Gellibrand." 

The English paper, Spectator, must have had some slanderous 
intelligence upon which to found the following article : — 

" Though the Government of New South Wales was unable 
to prevent this invasion of its territory, the Government of Van 
Diemen's Land might easily have prevented the departure of 
the invading expedition. It is understood, however, that this 
attack upon the laws and Government of New South Wales was 
positively sanctioned by the Governor of Van Diemen s Land, 
whose own nephew is one of the persons acting in defiance of 


The Port Phillip Association. 


the law of New. South Wales and of Sir Richard Bourke's 
Proclamation. Will Colonel Arthur be taken to task by the 
Colonial Office for his conduct in this matter ? Or will he be 
rewarded for it by being appointed Governor of the usurped 
territory ? Was not the illegal expedition planned with a view 
of making a Governorship for Colonel Arthur, who is about to 
lose the government of Van Diemen s Land ? " 

The Port Phillip Association, then called the " Geelong and 
Dutigalla Association," firom the district incorporated in their 
supposed grants- from the natives, determined to fight the 
question at home. They placed the matter in the hands of 
one of their number, Major Mercer, after whom a street is 
named in modem Geelong. Right loyally and courageously 
did that gentleman contend for the position assumed. 

In 1835 he began the campaign in Great Britain. It was 
thought best to have counsel's opinion, and the following com 
was prepared for legal consideration : — 

Case for Opinion. 

" The accompanying Report, No. 1, gives a detailed account 
of the occupation by Mr. Batman of certain tracts of land 
situated at the south-western extremity of New Holland, and in 
the vicinity of a port marked upon the English charts as Port 

" The documents, Nos. 2 and 3, are copies of Deeds of FeoflF- 
ment in favour of Mr. Batman, executed by the Chiefs of the 
native tribe, living at and contiguous to Port Philip. 

" The document. No. 4, is copy of a letter addressed by the 
Members of the Association for forming a settlement upon the 
tracts of land in question to the Secretary of State for the 
Colonies, soliciting a confirmation on the part of the Crown of 
the tracts of land granted by the deeds, Nos. 2 and 3. This 
letter has not yet been delivered to the Coknial Secretary. 

" The tracts of country in question are within the limits of 
Australia, as defined in the maps, of which the line extends 
fi'om the Australian Bight to the Gulf of Carpentaria, but they 
are situated some hundred miles firom New South Wsdes, which 
is only a part of Australia. 

"Port Philip was named after Governor Philip, the first 
Governor of New South Wales, who formed a temporary settle- 
ment there, which was immediately abandoned, and no act of 
ownership has since been exercised by the Crown. 

" The natives are, as appears by the Report, an intelligent set 
of men, and the grants were obtained upon equitable principles, 

I^B^^ — V" ■ 

376 Port Phillip Settlement. 

of which the reservation of the tribute is strong evidence, and 
the purport of the deeds was fully comprehended- by them. / 

"The gentlemen composing the Association have possessed 
themselves of the tracts of country in question, and have flocks 
and other property there of the value of at least 30,000Z. 

*' The following documents are added as tending to illustrate 
the present situation of the colonists, as well as their views and 

"No. 5. Copy answer- returned through the ofSce of the 
Colonial Secretary of Van Diemen's Land to Mr. Batman's 
Report, addressed to the Lieutenant-Governor. 

** No. 6. Map of the ceded territory. 

" No. 7. Copy Lidenture made by John Batman, Charles 
Swanston, and others, for defining the objects of the parties 
who propose to establish a settlement on the ceded territories. 

" No. 8. Copy Conveyance of the ceded territories made by 
Mr. Batman, and relative declaration of trust. 

" Your Opinion is requested. 

"1. Whether the grants obtained by the Association are 
valid ? 

" 2. Whether the right of soil is or is not vested in the 

" 3. Whether the Crown can legally oust the Association from 
their possessions ? 

"4. What line of conduct or stipulations would you advise 
the Association to pursue and make with the British Govern- 
ment ; in particular, ought they to oflFer Government any 
specific terms, and ought the whole of the documents now laid 
before you to be at once communicated to Government, or ought 
such communication to embrace only part of them, and if so 
what part ? " 


" 1 and 2. I am of opinion, that, as against the Crown, the 
grants obtained by the Association are not valid, and that, as 
between Great Britain and her own subjects, as well as the 
subjects of foreign states, the right to the soil is vested in the 
Crown. It has been a principle adopted by Great Britain as 
well as by the other European states, in relation to their settle- 
ments on the continent of America, that the title which dis- 
covery conferred on the Government, by whose authority or by 
whose subjects the discovery was made, was that of the ultimate 
dominion in and sovereignty over the soil, even whilst it con- 
tinued in the possession of the aborigines. Vattel, B. 2. c. 18. 
This principle was reconciled with humanity and justice towards 
the aborigines, because the dominion was qualified by allowing 
them to retain, not only the rights of occupancy, but also a 

The Port Phillip Association. 377 

restricted power of alienating those parts of the territory which 
they occupied. It was essential that the power of alienation 
should be restricted. To have allowed them to sell their lands 
to the subjects of a foreign state would have been inconsistent 
with the right of the state, by the title of discovery to exclude 
all other states from the discovered country. To have allowed 
them to sell to her own subjects would have been inconsistent 
with their relation of subjects. 

" The restriction imposed on their power of alienation con- 
sisted in the right of pre-emption of these lands by that state, 
and in not permitting its own subjects or foreigners to acquire 
a title by purchase from them without its consent. Therein 
consists the sovereignty of a dominion or right to the soil 
asserted and exercised by the European Government against 
the aborigines, even whilst it continued in their possession. 
The Commission granted by England to Cabot, the charter to 
Sir Humphrey Gilbert in 1578, and which was afterwards 
renewed to Sir Walter Baleigh, the charter to Sir Thomas Gates 
and others in 1606, and to the Duke of Lennox and others in 
1620, the grants to Lord Clarendon in 1663, and to the Duke 
of York in 1664, recognize the right to take possession on the 
part of the Crown, and to hold in absolute property, notwith- 
standing the occupancy of the natives. 

" The cession of * aU Nova Scotia or Arcadia, with its ancient 
boundaries,' made by France to Great Britain by the 12th Article 
of the Treaty of Utrecht in 1703, and the cession of other lands 
in America, made at the peace of 1763, comprised a great extent 
of territory which was in the actual occupation of the Indians. 
Great Britain on the latter occasion surrendered to France all 
her pretensions to the country west of the Mississippi, although 
she was not in possession of a foot of land in the district thus 
ceded. But that which Great Britain really surrendered was 
her sovereignty, or the exclusive right of acquiring and of con- 
trolling the acquisition by others of lands in the occupation of 
the Indians. 

" On the cession by Spain to France of Florida, and by France 
to Spain of Louisiana, and on the subsequent retrocession of 
Louisiana by Spain to France, and the subsequent purchase of 
it by the United States from France, these powers were trans- 
ferring and receiving territories, the principal parts of which 
were occupied by the Indians. 

" The history of American colonization furnishes instances of 
purchases of land from the native Indians by individuals. The 
most memorable is the purchase made by William Penn. It 
has, however, been observed by Chief Justice Marshall, in the 
case of Johnson, v, M'Intosh, 8 Wheaton's Rep. 570, that this 
purchase was not deemed to have added to the strength of his 

378 Port Phillip Settlement. 

title. Previously to this purchase the lands called Pennsylvania, 
and which comprised those subsequently purchased by him, had 
been granted by the 'Crown to him and his heirs in absolute 
property, by a charter in 1681, and he held a title derived from 
James II. when Duke of York. He was, in fact, as a proprietary 
governor, invested with all the rights of the Crown, except those 
which were specially reserved. Another instance is the purchase 
from the Narraghansetts Indians of the lands which formed the 
colonies of Rhode Island and Providence. They were made by 
persons whose religious dissensions had driven them from Massa- 
chusetts. The state of England at this period might accoimt 
for this transaction having escaped the attention of the Govern- 
ment. It is evident, however, that the settlers were not satisfied 
with the title acquired by this purchase, for on the restoration 
of Charles II. they solicited and obtained from the Crown a 
charter, by which Providence was incorporated with Rhode 
Island. The grant is made to them ' of our Island called Rhode 
Island,' and of the soil as well as the powers of Government. 
The judgment of Lord Hardwicke in the case of Penn v. Lord 
Poltimore, 1 Ves. 454, is not inconsistent with, but in many 
respects, supports, this view of the rights of the Crown and its 

" In all the colonies which now constitute the United States, 
the Crown either granted to individuals the right in the soil, 
although occupied by the Indians, as was the case in most of 
the proprietary governments, or the right was retained by the 
Crown, or vested in the Colonial Government. The United States 
at the termination of the Revolution acquired the right to the 
soil which had been previously vested in the Crown, for Great 
Britain by treaty relinquished all claim ' to the proprietary and 
territorial rights of the United States.' The validity of titles 
acquired by purchases from the Indians has been on several 
occasions the subject of decision in the courts of the United 
States. The judgment of Chief- Justice Marshall in the case of 
Johnson v. M'Intosh, contains the elaborate opinion of the 
Supreme Court, that the Indian title was subordinate to the 
absolute ultimate title of the Government, and that the purchase 
made otherwise than with the authority of the Government was 
not vaUd. A similar decision was given by the same court in 
the case of Worcester v. the State of Georgia, in January 
1832. 3 Kent's Com. 382, and the case referred to in the 
note, p. 385. 

" 3. I am of opinion that the Crown can legally oust the 
Association from their possession. 

" The enterprise manifested by the expedition,— the respecta- 
bility of the parties engaged in it, — and the equitable and 
judicious manner in which they conducted the intercourse with 

The Port Phillip Assocution. 379 

the native tribes, and made their purchase, afford a strong 
ground for anticipating that the Crown would, in conformity 
with its practice on other occasions, on a proper application, 
give its sanction to, and confirm the purchase which the Associa- 
tion has made. Lord Hardwicke, in the case which has been 
referred to expressed a very strong opinion, that the possession 
of persons making these settlements ought to receive the fullest 

" There is no ground for considering that the lands comprised 
in this purchase are affected by the act erecting South Australia 
into a Province, 4 and 5 W. IV., c. 95. They are clearly not 
within the boundaries assigned to the territory which is the 
subject of the act, and therefore the Crown is not precluded 
from confirming the purchase. 

" 4. I am of opinion that the Association should make an 
application to the Ooverment for a confirmation of the above 
purchase, and accompany it with a full communication, not only 
of all the documents now laid before me, but of every other 
circumstance connected with the acquision. 

(Signed) "Willla.m Burge. 

**Linc. Inn, IQih Jan. 1886." 

" We have perused the extremely able and elaborate opinion 
of Mr. Bulge, and entirely concur in the conclusions at which he 
has arrived upon each of the queries submitted to us. 

(Signed) " Tho. Pemberton. 


"Jan. 21,1886." 

Between the dates of these two opinions — 16th and 21st — 
we have the declaration of the learned Dr. Lushington. A 
curious issue arose, as is seen in the paper entitled '' Memo- 
randum in addition to Case in regard to the Geelong and 
Dutigalla Association." It runs thus : — 

" Since the Case relative to the settlement made in Australia 
by the Geelong and Dutigalla Association was laid before 
Counsel, inquiry has been made of Mr. Mercer, one of the 
Members of that Association, whether the settlement in ques- 
tion fell within the limits of SmUh Australia, which His Majesty 
was empowered to erect into a British Province by the Act 
4 and 5 Wm. IV. c. 95 (passed 15th August, 1834). 

" It will be seen from that act that the Province of Smith 
Australia is described as lying ' between the meridians of the 
132nd and 141st degrees of east longitude, and between the 

380 Port Phillip Settlement. 

Southern Ocean and 26 degrees of south latitude, together 
with the islands adjacent thereto/ 

"The settlement in question is not included in any other 
British province theretofore erected in Australia. 

*' Mr. Mercer has answered this inquiry as follows : — 
" ' Port Philip, where we have settled, lies 300 miles from 
Lake Alexandrina, into which the river Murray flows, and 
between 37** 30' and 38° 15' south latitude, 144* 20' and 
145° 20' east longitude, quite clear of the South Australian 
new colony recognised by the late Act of Parliament : This act 
I will show you if able to go in on Friday next. The papers 
will show that it had once been taken possession of and after- 
wards abandoned; also that it is within the imaginary line 
drawn from the Gulf of Carpentaria to the Australian Bight. 
Any map of New Holland will show its position. A question 
might ev«n be raised, whether the Crown or Parliament had 
a right to colonize South Australia, without a treaty with the 
Native Chiefis : This, however, is not our business just now/ " 

Opinion by Dr. Lushington. 

" 1. I am of opinion that the grants obtained by the Asso- 
ciation are not valid without the consent of the Crown. 

'' 2 and 3. I do not think that the right to this territory is 
at present vested in the Crown ; but I am of opinion that the 
Crown might oust the Association : for I deem it competent 
to the Crown to prevent such settlements being made by 
British subjects if it should think fit. 

** 4. I think the most advisable course the Association can 
pursue is to give the Crown the fullest information on aU 
point& I think it unwise and unsafe to hold back any docu- 
ment or information whatever. Indeed, the so doing, if in 
an important particular, might invalidate the security the 
Association might derive from the grants or acts of the Crown. 

" I further think that it would not be expedient, in the first 
instance, to propose specific terms. The best course would be, 
after giving full information, to request the countenance, 
sanction, and aid of the Crown ; of course afterwards the 
security of the lands by confirmation or grant firom the Crown 
must be obtained; under what conditions or restrictions must 
be matter for subsequent negotiation with Government. 

" This present plan is, truly speaking, the planting of a new 
colony, and nothing can be safely or effectually done but by 
the authority of the Crown. 

(Signed) " Stephen Lushington. 



Jan, 18, 1836." 

Jicm^cu WUlock,^ FalU. 

Tofatxp.580 'WcTTigonff B.. eavd BarrabuU'. 

The Port Phillip Association. 381 

On the 26th of January, 1836, Mr. Mercer addressed this 
letter to Lord Qleneig, then Secretary for the Colonies : — 

'* To the Right Honourable Lord Glenelo, 

Principal Secretary of State, " Drtdbn House, by Edinburgh, 

Colonial Department. 26^ January, 1836. 

" My Lord, — In the capacity of Shareholder, and as Agent for 
the Geelong and Dutigalla Association, I have the honour to 
lay before your Lordship, for the favourable consideration of His 
Majesty's Ministers, the accompanying documents as per margin 
(elsewhere given in this work). 

" The object of the Association is to obtain, in the exercise of 
the Royal Prerogative, a recognition and confirmation by the 
Crown of the treaties executed by the Aboriginal Chiefs, 
occupants of the soil; or should His Majesty's Ministers see 
any legal objection to this recognition and confirmation, of 
which I am not at present aware, a Royal Grant of the 
Territories, as feudatories of the British Crown. 

" In addressing your Lordship on a subject not less important, 
I conceive, to the British Empire than to the associated body, 
I would beg permission to offer to the consideration of His 
Majesty's advisers, the many and great advantages proximately 
springing from the relief aflforded by the emigration of settlers 
without charge to the State, and prospectively in the formation 
of a nucleus for a free and useful colony, founded upon principles 
of conciliation and civilization, of philanthropy, morality, and 
temperance, without danger of its ever becoming onerous to the 
mother country, and calculated to insure the well-being and 
comfort of the native occupants, the proposed system instructing 
and protecting, not exterminating them. 

" Should His Majesty's Ministers see legal objections to the 
recognition and confirmation of the native treaties, I would 
presume to suggest that a Crown grant of this territory be 
issued in the names of John Batman and Charles Swanston, 
Esqrs., — ^these gentlemen having executed regular deeds, 
binding themselves tx) act generally for the Members of the 

" I may state for your Lordship's information that a Catechist 
is, I have reason to believe, even now exercising his functions 
there, and, I trust, instructing the benighted Aborigines through 
the medium of Mr. Batman's native servants as interpreters, 
and that a medical man is ere this giving his aid on the spot. 

" In conclusion, I may be allowed to observe, that no person 
save Mr. Batman could have accomplished this great object, and 
that the Association feel satisfied, if disturbed in the enjoyment 
of the land, ceded by the tribes under treaties Tabooed with the 
sacred symbols of their chiefs, which cannot, and will not ever 

382 Port Phillip Settlement. 

on their parts be broken, that if such obstruction; involving a 
failure on the part of the white man, occur, reliance on him will 
be at an end ; and the country, if ever, occupied hereafter by 
the extermination of the aboriginal proprietors alone I 

" Under such circumstances I trust I may, without presump- 
tion, flatter myself that His Majesty's Ministers will be glad to 
find it consistent with their duty to the Crown and the country 
to sanction and foster a colony, founded upon principles of 
humanity and civilization, and opening a new field for emigra- 
tion and British industry. 

"A notice of this letter, at as early a period as may be com- 
patible with your Lordship's other important avocations, would 
be highly acceptable, as I am instructed eventually to forward 
Settlers to Port Philip. 

" I have the honour to be, &c. 

(Signed) "George Mercer." 

A reply came from Lord Glenelg. He alludes to the request 
that "If His Majesty's Government should see any legal 
objection to this recognition and confirmation (treaty with the 
TuUives), a royal grant of the territories may be made to the 
Association as feudatories of the Crown." 

To this he simply replied, February 16th : — 

" The territory on which it is proposed to form the settlement 
in question, is a part of the colony of New South Wales, being 
comprised within the limits laid down in the commission of 
Governor Sir Richard Bourke, and consequently that it is 
mpossible for His Majesty's Government to acknowledge any 
'title to lands acquired there, except upon the terms prescribed 
in that commission and the accompanying instructions." 

This seemed a death-blow to the expectations of the Associa- 
tion. Lord Glenelg professed his helplessness in the matter, 
and left the memorialists entirely in the bands of the Governor 
of New South Wales. 

But the gallant Major neither lost his courage nor seemed at 
the end of his resources. Lord Glenelg was a Christian philan- 
thropist, and must surely sympathise with the efforts of the 
Geelong and Dutigalla Association to shield and bless the 
aborigines. He must be shown the real feeling of the parties. 
New South Wales was then a convict colony ; and Port Phillip, 
under the Association, would be a free one, established upon 
humanitarian principles. Mr. Mercer instanced the case of other 
associations in the Australian settlements, and would be satis- 

The Port Philup Association. 383 

fied if treated as fiavourably as some of them. But the letter 
is too important to be omitted. Dated from Edinburgh, March 
16th, 1836, it is as follows :— 

" My Lord, — I have had the honour to receive your Lord- 
ship's letter of 15th February, in reply to my address under 
date 26th January 1836, intimating that His Majesty's Govern- 
ment cannot acknowledge any title to lands acquired by the 
Port Philip Association, except upon the terms prescribed in the 
commission and accompanying instructions issued to Governor 
Sir Richard Bourke, the lands in question constituting a part of 
the colony of New South Wales. 

" Sir R. Bourke's commission and instructions have reference^ 
I presume, aJone to a penal colony, and, moreover, it may not 
be impossible that the said commission and instructions were 
drawn at a time when the British Government deemed it 
expedient to meet and counteract a disposition, evinced by the 
Government of France, to form a colony on that part of 
Australia; consequently the territory of New South Wales 
might have been extended far beyond the limits adapted to a 
penal colony. 

" Port Philip is about 600 miles from Sydney, and 400 from 
the nearest lands of that colony yet occupied by British subjects 
with the sanction of Government, and will not, therefore, under 
the slow and regular march of population, be located as a penal 
colony until some very distant period. 

" I have been given to understand that it is not the intention 
of His Majesty's Government to extend or increase penal 
colonies, and the same power that joined Port Philip to, can, 
I conclude, with equal facility and propriety, dissever it from, 
New South Wales, greatly, I conceive, to the advantage of the 
mother country. 

" These lands, unless formed into a free colony, must, I am 
humbly of opinion, lie dormant or be grazed by Squatters only 
for a century to come ; whereas, if now granted by the Crown 
to the Geelong and Dutigalla Association upon equitable terms, 
they will be speedily rendered a valuable acquisition to the 

" I may be permitted to observe, that the purchase of the 
tract of lajid ceded by the native Chiefs to the Aissociation, upon 
the terms prescribed in the commission and instructions to 
Governor Sir Richard Bourke, is out of all question, unless the 
advantages of a full portion of convict labour were accorded, as 
well to the body purchasing as for public purposes of general 
improvement, — making roads, bridges, &c., thus involving the 
necessity of an expensive Government establishment, civil and 
military, for the improvement of the colony, — for the control of 

384 Port Phillip Settlement. 

the prisoners, — and for the protection of the settlers, — ^in fact, 
planting another penal colony with all its concomitant charges to 
the parent state. 

" The Association profess their wish to be a free colony, without 
pecuniary sacrifice to the mother country ; at the same time 
every member of it is aware of the absolute necessity of the 
presence of British local authorities, to see that due protection 
be extended to all, and that justice be done to the aborigines, 
whose welfare and general improvement the Association tsJ^es a 
pride in declaring to be one of its great objects, as evinced by 
the tribute paid to, and arrangements made with, the natives. 

'* It is unnecessary for me to call your Lordship's attention to the 
fatal consequences at Hunter's river (about 100 miles only from 
the capital) of the absence of such amicable arrangements and 
the presence of runaway convicts; these combined causes 
operating destruction and murders in every direction: Yet I 
may take the liberty, as pertinent to the subject, and not, 
perhaps, so well known to your Lordship, to advert to the many 
acts of aggression committed by the Whalers and others at 
Portland Bay, where a tract of country has lately been granted 
by the Home Government, formerly refused to an application 
made by memorial through Colonel Arthur, (please see ultimate 
paragraph of Mr. Colonial Secretary Montagu's reply of 3d 
July 1835, to Mr. Batman :) This tract having been occupied 
without previous friendly intercourse with the natives, and being 
beyond the operation of any present law, consequently without 
local government or authorities. 

" Assuming it, as I humbly do, to be the bounden duty of 
both Qovemment and the soliciting grantees to extend to these 
benighted people a full measure of kindness and protection, 
and if possible the blessings of Christianity, in lieu of advan- 
tages to be derived from the possession of the soil by the British 
Empire and the Association, — I would presume to suggest to 
your Lordship, that a Crown grant be given at a moderate quit 
rent, suflScient for the support of a small, but for the present 
adequate, establishment, appointed by the Crown to superintend 
and protect all parties in and connected with a new free colony. 
This acceded to by Government, the matter would resolve into 
a question of amount. 

''Although, as occupants in a free colony, the Association 
would labour under many and great pecuniary and other dis- 
advantages comparatively with those located in a penal settle- 
ment, yet the body for whom I act would not, I have reason to 
believe, object to the Van Diemen's Land Company bein^ taken 
as an archetype to found upon. And this being acceded to by 
your Lordship, the following statement would be the result : I 
may be permitted to premise, that that Company selected 

The Port Phillip Association. 385 

250,000 acres of available land in six different and distant 
localities, being allowed 110,000 acres more, supposed, useless 
lands, and not valued to them, and that they do or may have 
the fiill amount of their quit rent, or even much more returned 
to them, through the means of convict labour unknown in a 
free colony. 

"The Van Diemen's Land Company have 360,000 acres, 
250,000 of land fit for tillage and pasturage at 28. 6d. equal to 
£31,250 ; quit rent 1^ per cent, equal to £468 158. redeemable 
at twenty years' purchase, or £9,375 sterling, quit rent not 
payable until the expiration of five years from the date of the 
grant or charter. This latter stipulation, the Association deeming 
an immediate superintendency by a Government commissioner 
and officers, for the due protection of all parties, of the utmost 
importance, would dispense ¥nth, and willingly commence 
payment at the expiration of six months from the arrival of 
such commissioners and authorities on the spot, always looking 
for a local expenditure of the quit rent for the benefit of the 
colony. Based on this principle, and reckoning 500,000 acres 
in the tract ceded in June last by the chiefs to the Association, 
the quit rent would amount to £937 lO^. ; but as this might not 
be deemed a sufficient sum for the proposed establishment, were 
the tract to the east of the ceded territories to be included in 
the grant or charter, as delineated on the accompanying map by 
lines from C. 35 miles due south to E. and from £. 32 miles 
about S.W. to D. at good water creek on Port Philip, the whole 
estimated to contain on a liberal scale 750,000 acres of land fit 
for tillage and pasturage, which can scarcely be expected, the 
territory lying in one continuous tract, the Association would 
thus be placed on such grounds as to justify a payment of 
£1,406 5s. per annum quit rent, equal to the support of adequate 
public authorities, until the colony become, by population and 
trade, of importance sufficient to require a larger establishment, 
to be supported by a regular system of light duties on all 
imports, except those of British manufacture. Taking this view 
of the matter, the Association would become liable for an 
annual payment as follows : 

Tribute for present tract ceded jff-200 

Do. proposed extended tract, say 120 

Total tribute to native Chiefs 320 

Quit rent to the British Goyemment 1,406 5 

Salary to Dr. Thomson, now acting in the combined 

capacities of catechist and surgeon, on an allowance of . 180 

£1,906 5 

'* The associated body would naturally expect to be relieved 
from the burden of Dr. Thomson's salary, who would become 

c c 

386 Port Phillip Settlement, 

a Government officer on the establishment when payment of 
quit rent commenced. 

*' Your Lordship will not fail to have observed the re0ult of a 
late expedition sent to follow up Captain Sturt's discoveries^ 
behind Lake Alexandrina, which had returned, having suffered 
loss in a skirmish with the natives — a circumstance that could 
not have occurred had an amicable intercourse with these 
unhappy beings been previously, as in our case, established; 
but instances of this description are too numerous to trouble 
your Lordship with, 

*' In conclusion, I may be permitted to observe, that, inde- 
pendently of British interests, on the score of humanity alone, 
I humbly conceive it to behove His Majesty's Ministers to take 
this subject into their most serious consideration, and, with as 
little delay as possible, to plant British authorities at Port 
Philip for the prevention of exterminating conflicts, which will, 
I fear, inevitably ensue, as some Squatters have possessed them-> 
selves of lands in the neighbourhood, without any previous 
arrangement with the natives; and also to give legitimate 
protection to flocks of great value (£20,000 to £30,000) 
belonging to the Association, now grazing on the ceded tract. 

" I leave this on the 19th instant for London, and will be 
prepared to wait upon your Lordship whenever it may suit you 
to honour me with an audience. Any commands, which may be 
transmitted under cover to Messiu Spottiswoode and Robertson, 
wil]^each me and be promptly attended to, 

" I have the honour to be, My Loid, 
" Your Lordship's most obedieat humble Servant, 

(Signed) *'Qro, Merceb/' 

The Downing Street reply is dated March 30th. Sir Qeorge 
Grey wrote : — 

" Lord Olenelg directs me to acquaint you, in reply, that it is 
his intention to instruct the Qovemor of New South Wales to 
appoint magistrates and other indispensable officers for the 
government of the settlement which has been formed in the 
quarter referred to, and to put up the lands for sale there at such 
a reduced upset price as, upon full consideration of the state of the 
infant settlement, he may think reasonable. But his Lordship 
directs me to add, that the plan of disposing of public lands at 
a quit-rent has been generally abandoned, on the most ample